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C 304/52 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/72) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0205/98
by Rainer Wieland (PPE) to the Commission
(11 February 1998)

Subject: Financing mother-tongue teaching abroad − mother-tongue teaching in the consular district of Stuttgart
(Germany)

In the consular district of Stuttgart (Germany) the Italian government intends to transfer the teaching of 9 600
Italian children from the Italian Cultural Institute to private organizations (Esslinger Zeitung of 4 December
1997; letter from Mr Virga (Stuttgart) to the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Land of
Baden-Württemberg).

What appropriations are used to fund the mother-tongue teaching of Union citizens living in other countries?

If this teaching is funded by Union appropriations, what is the amount involved and what are the rules for
granting and spending the funds?

If this teaching is only partially funded by Union money, is transferring the way the teaching is organized (and
the way in which it is performed) to a private body such as an association legally acceptable?

Is this transfer in line with the Commission’s political thinking?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission
(24 March 1998)

The Commission acknowledges the concern expressed by the Honourable Member about the teaching of Italian
in the region of Stuttgart, but it has no competence to question the legitimacy of this decision.

According to Article 126 of the EC Treaty, Member States have exclusive responsibility for the content of
teaching and the organisation of educational systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.

Moreover, Council Directive 77/486/CEE of 25 July 1977 on the education of the children of migrant
workers (1), envisages, in Article 3, that Member States shall, in accordance with their national circumstances
and legal systems, and in cooperation with States of origin, take appropriate measures to promote, in
coordination with normal education, teaching of mother tongue and culture.

(1) OJ L 199, 6.8.1977.

(98/C 304/73) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0207/98
by Konstantinos Hatzidakis (PPE) to the Commission
(11 February 1998)

Subject: Discrimination against the Greek agricultural trade union confederation SY.DA.SE

Is the Commissioner responsible for agricultural policy aware that the Greek agricultural trade union
confederation, the ‘Confederation of Democratic Agricultural Cooperatives of Greece’ (SY.DA.SE), which,
according to reliable sources, represents some 40% of Greek farmers is not represented in the COPA, even
though other Greek farmers’ confederations, such as PASEGES and the GESASE, are? I am sure that the
Commissioner will agree that this situation is contrary to the principles of democracy, pluralism and
representation which constitute fundamental principles of the European Union.