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C 310/116 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.


Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 1998)

The extra tuition courses to which the Honourable Member refers are for pupils in upper secondary education, in
particular in the recently established integrated (or unified) lyceum. The aim of these courses, organised at this
first transitional phase, is to help students adapt to the new requirements of the integrated lyceum (new courses,
new curricula, new didactic approach). Their nature is temporary rather than structural and they will be given up
to the end of the current Community support framework (CSF).

In addition, in the technical sheet of the action, the Greek authorities which implement the operation, explain that
‘the teachers for the extra tuition courses are to be chosen by the teachers’ association, in co-operation with
school counsellors ... from neighbouring school units, or from among highly qualified teachers still without a
post ...’. Moreover ‘the teachers of a particular extra tuition section must not be those who give the corresponding
regular classes to the pupils in question’.

(98/C 310/154) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0668/98

by Sir Jack Stewart-Clark (PPE) to the Commission
(10 March 1998)

Subject: Commission proposal for levy on blank tapes

I understand there is a Commission proposal to provide compensation to copyright holders for audio
reproduction of their material by adding a levy to the cost of blank tapes, recording and copying equipment.

Such a proposal would have serious financial consequences on the local Talking Newspaper Associations in the
UK. The Talking Newspaper Associations provide a valuable service for the blind and partially sighted persons
by keeping them informed of news and events. Recordings are made onto blank cassette tapes and distributed
free of charge to listeners.

Does the Commission intend to permit exceptions to this proposal to exempt non-commercial services, charities
and Talking Newspaper Associations from having to pay a levy on recordings into blank cassettes?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 1998)

The Commission is conducting a detailed investigation of the problem raised by the Honourable Member and
will inform him of the outcome as soon as possible.

(98/C 310/155) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0680/98

by Roberta Angelilli (NI) to the Commission
(10 March 1998)

Subject: Funding for consumer associations

A number of articles have appeared in the Italian press concerning alleged funding from the European Union for
certain consumer associations, including ACU, FEDERCONSUMATORI and CODACONS.

Can the Commission say:

1. whether the alleged funding has actually been granted and, if so, on the basis of which programmes;
2. whether there are Community programmes which specifically envisage the granting of funding to consumer
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/117

Answer given by Mrs Bonino on behalf of the Commission

(1 April 1998)

The Commission’s initiatives in the field of defending consumer interests and protecting consumer health are
based on the 1996-1998 Action Plan ‘Priorities for consumer policy’ (1).

The Commission helps fund the activities of consumer associations in the Community. For example, the three
Italian associations mentioned by the Honourable Member have participated in an information campaign
designed to help consumers make the most of the single market. The campaign was mounted in parallel and in
coordination with the Citizens First − Citoyens d’Europe campaign, notably its second phase, one of whose
themes was ‘Purchasing goods and services in the European market’. This campaign, specifically devoted to
unfair terms in consumer contracts, was mounted in five Member States (Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Portugal).
The partners were the national consumer organisations that had requested to be involved in the campaign and
helped organise it. A contract was signed with each organisation in the amount of ECU 5 750.

In the context of the Euroguichets (consumer information and advice centres) network, the Commission also
funds the organisations or associations that operate these centres (financing up to 50% of their outgoings).
Following an evaluation in 1997 and a radical review currently in progress, this network now consists of ten
centres in seven Member States.

Each year the Commission publishes in the Official Journal (2) a ‘Call for submission of projects designed to
promote and protect consumer interests’. Projects are selected on the basis of their compatibility with the
Commission’s priority themes and the criteria published in the Official Journal.

The Commission has endorsed a proposal for a Parliament and Council Decision establishing a general
framework for Community activities in favour of consumers (3). This is a project with a legal basis which covers,
over a period of five years, a large part of the Commission’s actions to defend consumers’ interests and protect
their health.

Asummary list of the subsidies granted to Italian beneficiaries in 1996 and 1997 is being forwarded directly to the
Honourable Member and to the Secretariat-General of the Parliament.

(1) COM(95) 519 final.

(2) OJ C 277, 12.9.1997.
(3) COM(97) 684 final.

(98/C 310/156) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0694/98

by Riccardo Nencini (PSE) to the Commission
(2 March 1998)

Subject: Protection of patients

Council Directive 93/42/EEC (1), transposed into Italian law by Decree Law 46/1997, was intended to protect the
legitimate interests of patients by ensuring the quality of the service provided and codifying dental prostheses as
custom-made medical devices for which the dental technician and the dentist who fits them are directly
responsible. However it appears that Italian dentists, contrary to the provisions of the directive, are refusing to
provide dental technicians with the particulars of patients for whom they are asked to make prostheses, although
Annex VIII of the said directive stipulates that the manufacturer must draw up a statement of conformity which
includes the patient’s personal details, thus enabling every single medical device to be identified. Furthermore,
dentists, when issuing bills, do not explicitly mention the cost of the dental prosthesis or the name of the
manufacturer. Does the Commission intend to take action to compel European medical practitioners to comply
with the provisions in question?

(1) OJ L 169, 12.7.1993, p.1.