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C 304/140 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

(98/C 304/208) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0614/98
by Marı́a Izquierdo Rojo (PSE) to the Council
(16 March 1998)

Subject: Violence against women

The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution on the need to establish a European Union wide
campaign for zero tolerance of violence against women (1), urging the Governments of the Member States to take
violence against women more seriously and include it on their political agenda.

Bearing in mind that in Spain alone during 1997, 61 women were killed in incidents involving this kind of
violence, a figure higher than that for victims of ETA terrorist vioence, what measures and actions will the
Council take during the current year to combat violence against women on a European scale?

(1) OJ C 304, 6.10.1997, p. 25.

Answer
(28 May 1998)

Violence against women is a subject that Member States of the European Union take very seriously indeed.
For example, at the last Labour and Social Affairs Council meeting on 15 December 1997, violence against
women was one of the three topics discussed as part of a debate on the follow-up to the UN Conference on
Women held in Beijing in 1995. The Council reviewed the measures taken by Member States and underlined the
important work done through the STOP and the DAPHNE Programmes to combat violence against women and
children, whatever form it might take.

In March 1998, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women focused on violence against women; the
European Union was represented at this Conference and adopted a statement condemning all forms of violence
against women.

The Presidency is currently considering, together with the Commission, the possibility of initiatives on violence
against women being taken by the European Union in 1999.

(98/C 304/209) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0615/98
by Angela Billingham (PSE) to the Commission
(25 February 1998)

Subject: Study on the risks of cancer caused by textiles and leather goods

Does the Commission consider that the findings of the study on the risks of cancer caused by textiles and leather
goods which are coloured by Azo-dyes, covered by the invitation to tender No III/96/61 of July 1996, will
necessitate any action by footwear traders in the European Union?

Does the Commission consider the health risks are proportionate to a need for legislation and if not, will it take
action to remove national Azo prohibitions that conflict with the Single Market?

Answer given by Mr Bangemann on behalf of the Commission
(25 March 1998)

The study on the risks of cancer caused by textiles and leather goods coloured with certain azo dyes is part of a
programme that was launched by the Commission to analyse the need for harmonised restrictions on the
marketing and use of carcinogenic azo dyes and the economic and other consequences of such restrictions.
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/141

The risk assessment is currently under finalization so that it is premature to draw firm conclusions about the need
for actions in specific sectors. However, the final report is expected shortly.

The outcome of the risk assessment, together with the results of the study on advantages and drawbacks of
banning certain azo dyes and products treated with them and of the study on the effects of a ban on suppliers in
developing countries, will provide information on the need for and proportionality of harmonised restrictions.
The result of the study programme will form a basis for further discussions with Member State experts and a
possible Commission proposal to introduce harmonised legislation.

(98/C 304/210) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0621/98
by Angela Billingham (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 1998)

Subject: Kurdish Community in Diyarbakir

Is the Commission aware of the allegation that the Kurdish community in Diyarbakir is being poisoned by
sewage being pumped into its water supply? It is alleged that what used to be a fertile valley is dying and that
many children are becoming ill. If true, is this acceptable behaviour from a country seeking to join the European
Union?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission
(31 March 1998)

The Commission is well aware of the low level of socio-economic development in the south-east of Turkey,
exemplified, among other things, by the poor state of sewerage systems in several parts of that region. Leaks
from the sewerage systems affect the health of the most vulnerable sections of the population, including children.
The Turkish authorities are aware of this problem. It was on the agenda of the meeting of the Turkish National
Security Council of 26 February 1998.

Since 1997, under the MEDA programme, the Commission has chosen to focus in particular on basic
infrastructure and projects for improving socio-economic development in south-east Turkey. Last year it
approved a drinking water project for Sanliurfa worth more than ECU 21 million. It has also allocated financing
(almost ECU 23 million) in the form of interest-rate subsidies on loans from the European Investment Bank
(EIB) to improve the sewerage systems in Adana and Izmit.

As regards the city of Diyarbakir, the Commission has programmed interest rate subsidies for 1998 on an EIB
loan for the Diyarbakir Water and Sewerage Administration to build a sewage treatment plant and a sewerage
system.

(98/C 304/211) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0625/98
by Juan Colino Salamanca (PSE) and Jesús Cabezón Alonso (PSE) to the Commission
(9 March 1998)

Subject: COM in raw tobacco: use of the research fund

The current proposal to reform the COM in raw tobacco establishes a Community Tobacco Fund, funded by
holding back the equivalent of 2% of the subsidy; the current level is 1%.