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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/91

Ethical aspects on animals experimentation are becoming increasingly important. The Commission is strongly
encouraging Member States to set up ethical committees for animal experimentation on a voluntary basis as part
of their regular review process.

(98/C 310/121) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0569/98

by Kenneth Collins (PSE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Legal base of the regulation establishing the European Medicines Evaluation Agency

Does the Commission accept, as a consequence of the Amsterdam Treaty and President Santer’s statement to
Parliament in February 1997 on EU health policy following the BSE crisis, that the review which is required of
the regulation establishing the European Medicines Evaluation Agency will be conducted on the basis of Article
100a of the Treaty, rather than Article 235?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 1998)

According to Article 71 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2309/93 of 22 July 1993 laying down Community
procedures for the authorization and supervision of medicinal products for human and veterinary use and
establishing a European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products (1) the Commission shall publish a
general report on the experience acquired as a result of the operation of the procedures laid down in the
Regulation within six years. As the Regulation entered into force on 1 January 1995 the Commission will present
the report mentioned in Article 71 in the year 2001.

Based on that report it will be considered whether amendments of the Regulation are required. It is established
case law that the legal base of a Community act should reflect the content of the act. If the Commission on the
basis of the report proposes amendments to the Regulation, the legal base of the proposal would thus reflect the
content of such a proposal.

(1) OJ L 214, 24.8.1993.

(98/C 310/122) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0570/98

by Eryl McNally (PSE) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Plutonium storage

It has been suggested by the Royal Society that the rising stocks of plutonium in Britain pose the threat not only
of environmental damage but also that of being stolen for use in illicit nuclear weapons.

What extra difficulties does the Commission envisage, inn light of the above, for the European Union’s
responsibilities for nuclear safeguards and the monitoring of fissile material?

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(7 April 1998)

The Commission in the framework of its obligation under Chapter VII of the Euratom Treaty already invests
substantial financial and human resources in safeguarding plants handling large amounts of plutonium to ensure
that the material is not diverted from its intended use.
C 310/92 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Furthermore, the joint research centre devotes a large part of its budget to safeguards in the implementation of the
Community support programme to the International atomic energy agency. Plutonium management is among the
highest priorities.

Provided that the appropriate resources (manpower and finance) required to keep track of the increasing amount
of plutonium handled in installations in the Community are available, the Commission considers that it will be
able to meet its safeguards objectives in the future.

(98/C 310/123) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0572/98

by Carles-Alfred Gasòliba i Böhm (ELDR) to the Commission
(4 March 1998)

Subject: Aid to combat the citrus wilt virus

According to a study drawn up by the Ministry of Agriculture the prospects for the citrus sector in the Valencia
Region are not very encouraging. It indicates that 48.5% of the citrus farms in the region are affected by the citrus
wilt virus. The situation is worst in Valencia itself, with a 65% infection rate, followed by Castellón with 30%
and Alicante with 20%.

This serious disease is causing a substantial decline in agriculture in the area, since trees are being grubbed up
and farmers are suffering heavy financial losses. The removal of leaves and stems, as suggested by the
Commission, and the moving of trees affected by the virus to and within the region and within it is not the
appropriate solution to the problem.

Can the Commission say whether it envisages a programme for the conversion of the areas affected by the virus
to include the relevant aid and accompanying measures?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(6 April 1998)

The Commission has no specific programme for the conversion of areas affected by the ‘tristeza’ virus.
However, there are three cross-sector regional measures which may apply to such conversion, though recipients
cannot qualify for more than one.

Operational programmes of fruit-and-vegetable producer organisations are financed by the operational funds
established by the latter with a (50%) contribution from the Community (Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC)
No 2200/96 of 28 October 1996 on the common organisation of the market in fruit and vegetables (1)).

Operational programmes are presented by the Member States under Regulation (EEC) No 2081/93 of 20 July
1993 (2) on the objectives of the Structural Funds (ERDF, ESF and EAGGF Guidance Section). The Commission
has approved an operational programme for the region of Valencia for the period 1994-99, providing for
Community and Member State part-financing of conversion, restructuring and varietal improvement operations
in the citrus-growing sector. Such operations comprise the financing of citrus seedlings not sensitive to the
‘tristeza’ virus. The Community contribution to operations under this programme amounts to 70% of total public
expenditure, the remaining 30% being the responsibility of the Member State. The aid equals ESP 600 per
seedling planted.

Under Regulation (EC) No 950/97 on improving the efficiency of agricultural structures (3), farmers who fulfil
the conditions laid down in Article 5 of that Regulation can qualify for aid for investments carried out in
accordance with their holding improvement plans. Investments in perennials like citrus are eligible for
Community part-financing provided that the purchase of the plants does not form part of the holding’s running
costs. The total aid is expressed as a percentage of the eligible investment and varies with the type of investment
(immovable property, etc.) and the area where the investment is made (less-favoured or other areas).

(1) OJ L 297, 21.11.1996.

(2) OJ L 193, 31.7.1993.
(3) OJ L 142, 2.6.1997.