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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/27

difficulties and, admittedly, to differences in national legislation governing business practices. In view of these
differences and in the absence of harmonisation directives, the Commission is doing its utmost to ensure that
Community legislation, and especially the principle of proportionality, is applied whenever national rules
hamper the freedom to provide services.

(1) Source: European Mail Order Traders Association (EMOTA).

(98/C 304/37) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0066/98
by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Leonardo Programme

In the new version of the Leonardo Programme, aid to businesses has been increased and, at the same time, aid to
non-governmental organizations has been abolished.

On what grounds was that decision taken?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission
(17 February 1998)

The future of the new generation of vocational training programmes of the Community is currently under internal
discussion within the Commission. Hence, there can now be no statements about the future policy of support.

Within the frame of the current programme Leonardo da Vinci, the activities in support of enterprises, especially
of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), have had special emphasis. The reason for that is the orientation of
the European training policy towards labour market and employment policy issues, which was confirmed by the
European Council of Luxemburg in November 1997. The employment European Council and the subsequent
employment guidelines of the Community stress the special role of SMEs in creating and stabilising jobs.

There is no policy of reducing or cutting support for non-governmental organisations within the current
programme Leonardo da Vinci. Moreover, an aim of European vocational training policy is to initiate or support
transnational co-operation and partnership structures between as many actors as possible. The support for
non-governmental organisations and co-operation structures also stems from the awareness that these
organisations play an important role in the labour market.

(98/C 304/38) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0069/98
by Gerhard Botz (PSE) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Possible investigations into the use of plant protection products and their impact on human fertility

In connection with the dramatic decline in the numbers of small game in intensively-farmed regions in recent
years, I have received an increasing number of approaches from members of hunting clubs and nature protection
societies bringing to my attention the scientific investigations recently carried out.