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C 304/50


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