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2. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/73

3. The Commission is well aware of the fact that a significant part of the remaining tropical forest is situated in
Malaysia and that preserving these forests, in particular in Sarawak and Sabah provinces, represents a major
challenge. The Community is active in this field through projects financed on the tropical forests budget line.

4. The Commission is fully aware of the important role it has to play in Malaysia in coordination with
Community Member States. The head of delegation of the Commission delegation in Bangkok is also accredited
to the government of Malaysia and plays a full part in the meetings convened by the Member States in Kuala
Lumpur.

5. The Commission is conscious of the importance of a country like Malaysia. In countries such as Cap Vert,
Sri Lanka or Fiji, for many years the Commission has managed important aid development programmes which
needed close and permanent supervision.

6. It is true that the group of ambassadors of the Member States in Malaysia expressed the wish that the
Commission would open a delegation.

7. In any case, the Commission is presently examining its priorities in the evolution of the network of its
external representation which could result in the opening of new delegations and transforming or closing existing
delegations within the strict framework fixed by the budgetary authorities. The possible opening of a delegation
in Malaysia will be considered in this context.

(98/C 304/106) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0300/98
by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Council
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Clarification of the situation as regards Turkey’s accession to the EU

1. Can the Council President guarantee that Turkey’s accession to the EU will not be made subordinate to the
Cyprus issue and that mutual relations between the EU and Turkey will not be dependent on that issue?

2. Is the Council President prepared to do his utmost to ensure that the financial embargo on Turkey, which is
preventing that country from receiving the European Union funds allocated to it, is lifted?

3. Is the Council President prepared to spell out to Turkey what its chances are of becoming a full Member
State of the European Union, provided that that country demonstrates its willingness to comply with the criteria
laid down for its accession?

4. Is the Council President aware that Turkey’s application for accession should be treated on the basis of the
same criteria as those applied to other countries wishing to accede to the European Union, with particular regard
to fact that some applicant countries are in breach of the criteria laid down in respect of the conditions in prisons
and the treatment of suspects held in custody, as well as those laid down with regard to respect for human rights
and respect for the rule of law which apply in the Member States of the EU?

Answer
(18 May 1998)

The European Union’s approach towards Turkey was established by the European Council at its meeting in
Luxembourg on 12 and 13 December 1997. At that meeting the European Council confirmed Turkey’s eligibility
for accession to the European Union. Turkey would be judged on the same criteria as the other applicant States.
Turkey’s participation in the European Conference would enable the Member States of the European Union and
Turkey to step up their dialogue and cooperation in areas of common interest. The Council hopes that Turkey will
reconsider its decision not to take part in the European Conference, the opening session of which was held on
12 March 1998, and is making every effort to that end.
C 304/74 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10. 98

The European Council said that strengthening Turkey’s links with the European Union also depended on that
country’s pursuit of the political and economic reforms on which it had embarked, including the alignment of
human rights standards and practices on those in force in the European Union; respect for and protection of
minorities; the establishment of satisfactory and stable relations between Greece and Turkey; on the settlement of
disputes, in particular by legal process, including the International Court of Justice; and support for negotiations
under the aegis of the UN on a political settlement in Cyprus on the basis of the relevant Security Council
Resolutions.

The European Council took the view that it was important for a strategy to be drawn up to prepare Turkey for
accession by bringing it closer to the European Union in every field. This strategy should consist in the
development of the possibilities afforded by the Ankara Agreement, intensification of the Customs Union,
implementation of financial cooperation, approximation of laws and adoption of the Union ‘acquis’, and
participation, to be decided case by case, in certain programmes and in certain agencies by analogy with the
arrangements for the other applicant countries. The strategy was to be reviewed by the Association Council – in
particular on the basis of Article 28 of the Association Agreement – in the light of the Copenhagen criteria and
the Council’s position of 29 April 1997. On the subject of financial cooperation, the Presidency is making every
effort to unblock the Financial Regulation for Turkey and to facilitate full implementation of the bilateral
indicative programme for Turkey in the framework of MEDA.

(98/C 304/107) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0307/98
by Luis Campoy Zueco (PPE) to the Commission
(5 February 1998)

Subject: Aid for music

DG X has recently launched a support programme for culture which includes a section devoted to music. This
initiative is to be welcomed. Can the Commission say whether there is any other cultural aid programme which
might serve as a framework for grants for musical projects?

Answer given by Mr Oreja on behalf of the Commission
(17 March 1998)

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that promoting musical creation and bringing it to the
people are and must remain indispensable features of Community cultural action. The cultural framework
programme 2000-2005 will pay special attention to music as specified in the conclusions of the Council of
18 December 1997 on music in Europe (1). Moreover, the Commission would recall that among recent work by
the European institutions relating to music, Parliament held a hearing on 18 June 1997. On that occasion the
Commission handed out, by way of information, a list showing how the Community had supported music and in
addition to current Community programmes, a large number of Community programmes which in one way or
another had supported music. It should be emphasised that these other programmes do not give priority to
culture. This list showed that most Community funds for music came from the Structural Funds. By way of
guidance, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted roughly ECU 38.33 million between 1989
and 1997. The Community allocated ECU 13.22 million to cultural events between 1991 and 1996. Under the
Kaleidoscope programme (Decision No 719/96/EC); (2) funds have been given each year to cooperation projects
in music. In addition, in 1998, the call for proposals entitled ‘Community support for cultural development
projects’ (3) provides in Action1 that music will be given special emphasis. This information on the entire
cultural sector can also be found in the ‘First report on the consideration of cultural aspects in European
Community action’ (4).

(1) OJ C 1, 3.1.1998.
(2) OJ L 99, 20.4.1996.
(3) OJ C 6, 10.1.1998.
(4) COM(96) 160 final.