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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/121

What steps does the Commission intend to take to allow these wine growers to recover their right to the ‘organic
farming’ classification?

(1) OJ L 198, 22.7.1991, p. 1.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(8 April 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 310/161) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0739/98


by Klaus Lukas (NI) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)
Subject: Discrimination against non-ABTA travel agents

Documents forwarded to me reveal serious discrimination by regional education authorities in the United
Kingdom against tour operators who do not belong to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or do not
have their registered offices in the United Kingdom. Teachers are, for example, instructed by these regional
education authorities on no account to choose non-British tour operators or firms that are not members of ABTA
to arrange a school ski course in Austria. If this instruction is not followed, the course is not approved. This
attitude is all the more incomprehensible as it can hardly be argued that ABTA members provide ’better’
safeguards for the customer’s money since the firm concerned is subject to the Austrian travel agency safeguard
regulation (safeguards for customers’ money), which is equivalent to the British legislation (Package Travel,
Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992) implementing the same EU directive. To be able to offer
to arrange school ski courses, the Austrian firm concerned tried to join ABTA (despite the substantial increase in
costs this would have entailed). This proved impossible, however, because ABTA’s statutes are so worded as de
facto to limit membership to British firms. The attitude of the regional education authorities, especially in
conjunction with the approach adopted by ABTA, is now thwarting all the good intentions associated with the
establishment of the internal market.

1. Is the Commission aware of these events?

2. What does the Commission think of the attitude taken by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
and the British regional education authorities?

3. What does the Commission intend to do about the attitude taken by the Association of British Travel
Agents (ABTA) and the British regional education authorities in this matter?

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 310/162) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0742/98


by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: ‘Western Road Axis’

Will the Commission say what progress has been made so far as regards the ‘Western Road Axis’? Will it also
say whether an environmental impact study has been carried out and what exactly it is planning, since it is
reported that preliminary work on the road and the process of expropriation have already begun, triggering
protests and accusations?
C 310/122 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission


(16 April 1998)

The ‘main roads’ operational programme in the Community support framework (CSF) for Greece for 1994-99
provides part-financing only for construction of two sections of the ‘western axis’: the ring roads around Agrinio
and Preveza. The Greek authorities intend to propose part-financing the remainder of this route from the CSF for
2000-06. To this end, when the current CSF was recently amended, they proposed, and the Commission
accepted, the part-financing of studies on this route, including the environmental impact statements. As far as the
Commission is aware, these studies have not yet begun.

The environmental and technical studies on the ring roads around Agrinio and Preveza have, however, been
completed and the environmental terms approved in accordance with the legislation in force.

(98/C 310/163) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0745/98


by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Cheque book eugenics

Will the Commission investigate the policy pursued by the ‘Front National’ in Vitrolles, whereby white French
families are paid FRF 5000 to have a child, in order to ensure that there is no discrimination against citizens of the
European Union, in particular black European citizens who have the misfortune to live in Vitrolles?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission


(16 April 1998)

The Commission has not received specific complaints concerning racial policies by the authorities of Vitrolles
against black European nationals.

Nevertheless, the Commission wishes to highlight that Article 48 of the EC Treaty and Regulation (EEC)
No 1612/68 of the Council of 15 October 1968 on freedom of movement for workers within the Community (1)
provide for the principle of equal treatment as regards social advantages between nationals and other European
workers and the members of their families. Thus, if the authorities of Vitrolles were to refuse child allowances to
non-French European workers or to the members of their families while granting them to French nationals, such
discrimination would be contrary to Community law. However, the implementation of national legislation, if
any, prohibiting racial discrimination is a matter of national competence.

Furthermore, as announced in its recent Action plan against racism, subject to ratification of the Amsterdam
Treaty, the Commission intends to make a legislative proposal in this area before the end of 1999.

(1) OJ L 257, 19.10.1968.

(98/C 310/164) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0751/98


by Allan Macartney (ARE) to the Commission
(18 March 1998)

Subject: Assistance measures for foreign inward investment within the Community

Can the Commission provide statistics on the scale of assistance measures which Member State governments
give to companies based in other Member States in order to encourage foreign inward investment? Are any
national statistics available for the Member States which show the difference between assistance measures
provided for national companies and those which come from other Member States?