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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/49

The Commission is fully aware of the importance of certain food-borne diseases (e.g. campylobacteriosis and
enterohaemorrhagic E.coli infections). As is the case for salmonella these zoonotic agents are ubiquitous in the
natural environment and can consequently be isolated at various levels from clinically healthy domestic animals
and from wildlife. Also the possibility of human carriers and infection through other sources (vegetables, water,
pets etc.) must be considered. However, the knowledge of their pathogenicity, virulence and epidemiology is
very sparse and satisfactory routine testing methods are lacking. Expanded surveillance and research is needed to
provide the epidemiological information and appropriate testing methods. Only when such tools are available
can appropriate measures be implemented to identify potentially high-risk animals and to recommend, with
confidence, actions for reducing the prevalence of these zoonotic agents in herds. Meanwhile the Commission is
considering how abattoirs and processing plants can institute practices to reduce contamination and
cross-contamination of food and to avoid recontamination of heat treated products (hazard analysis critical
control point system − HACCP). The Commission intends also to introduce certain concrete measures to
improve slaughter hygiene by preparing the appropriate proposals to amend the existing directives concerning
meat hygiene.

(98/C 304/68) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0194/98
by Antoni Gutiérrez Dı́az (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(28 January 1998)

Subject: Illegal construction activity with EU funding

In a concession of 19 February 1997, the Spanish Ministry of the Environment made over the use of a
publicly-owned coastal site in the Catalan municipality of Llançà, in the area of Alt Empordà, to the Catalan
regional government (Generalitat) for the purpose of construction work on the Grifeu promenade. This
concession provided for compensation for the compulsory purchase of land and other private rights affected by
the project.

The Directorate-General for Ports and Coasts of the Department of Planning Policy and Public Works of the
Generalitat proceeded to carry out the construction work on the promenade, without receiving final approval of
the plan from the municipality of Llançà and without the existence of the necessary planning project − despite
both being necessary prior conditions for the work to take place.

Since then, the Court of First Instance No 8 of Girona (Gerona) has delivered Judgment No 247/97 of
12 December 1997, which states that the action of the Directorate-General for Ports and Coasts of the
Department of Planning Policy and Public Works of the Generalitat was carried out in a ‘de facto fashion’, and
therefore rules the occupation of the land illegal and orders the property concerned to be returned to its rightful
owners.

The execution of this judgment will entail the demolition of the promenade construction and the associated
buildings, which have already cost some Ptas 75 m. Of this sum, 50% was contributed by the Generalitat and 25%
by the municipality of Llançà, while 25% came from EU funds − specifically, from the Community’s
INTERREG initiative.

Is the Community aware of this investment and of the fact that EU funds were used for a project which was
carried out illegally and whose end-products will now have to be demolished following the court decision?

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission
(26 February 1998)

The Commission will not fail to obtain information from the Spanish authorities on the outcome and
consequences of the state of affairs referred to by the Honourable Member. Subject to verification, it suspects
that, if this is the Interreg IIA programme, the project in question could be Project No 48 (road and beach access
development stage 2 − Llança in Catalonia), which received 50% Community part-financing, i.e. a contribution
of ECU 150 000.

If it receives official confirmation that the court decision is final and irreversible, the Commission will take all
appropriate measures under the circumstances.
C 304/50 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

In particular, it will be forced to withdraw its part-financing owing to the failure of the project to materialise and,
at the next monitoring committee meeting, propose a reallocation of the funds originally committed.

(98/C 304/69) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0196/98
by Karin Riis-Jørgensen (ELDR) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: EU export of steel wire ropes to Poland

Since November 1996, the EC steel wire ropes industry has not been able to export to Poland because of
non-tariff barriers. I am also aware that Poland has recently refused to lower import duties, as required by the
European Union.

Tenders to supply the mining industry give preference to Polish firms. The administrative and financial burdens
currently make all exports from the European Community impossible. What is more, the Polish certification
system, which is applicable to EU imported wire ropes, impedes deliveries.

As the tariff barriers violate the undertakings given by Poland as part of the European Agreement, I would like to
know what steps the Commission will undertake to ensure that these barriers are abolished in the near future.

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

The problems concerning the access to the Polish market of Community exporters of steel wire ropes have been
discussed with the Polish authorities on a number of occasions 1997, including at the highest levels. In particular,
the responsible Vice-President of the Commission raised this issue during his visit to Poland in February 1997.
However, given that no concrete reply was received from the Polish authorities and that according to Community
industry discriminatory practices were still being noted at the expense of Community exporters, this matter was
discussed again during the meeting of the Community Poland trade and industry subcommittee in December
1997.

In this meeting, the Polish authorities indicated that they would be prepared to look further into the matter if the
Community provided examples of discrimination. The Commission has therefore invited the Community
industry to provide it with such information with a view to seeking an early solution to the problem.

(98/C 304/70) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0199/98
by Hilde Hawlicek (PSE) to the Commission
(11 February 1998)

Subject: Books and the cultural heritage

In his speech to the Frankfurt book fair in October 1997, Commissioin President Jacques Santer said that he
regarded books as ‘part of our cultural heritage and as economic factors’. However, on 14 January 1998
Commissioner Karel van Miert instituted proceedings against book price agreements even before the Council of
Ministers of Cultural Affairs had received the expert opinion it had requested on whether such agreements can be
justified by Article 128 EC.

What protection does the Commission President believe the Commission is providing for ‘books as part of the
cultural heritage’?

Is the Commissioner also aware of the study carried out by Ulrich Everling, a former judge at the European Court
of Justice, who concludes that book price agreements as practised in Germany and Austria should not be
regarded as incompatible with the Common market pursuant to Article 85(1) EC Treaty, provided books