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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/147

(98/C 310/202) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0925/98

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

Subject: Information on the amount of European Union aid to colleges of higher education and research
institutions in Catalonia in 1995, 1996 and 1997

Can the Commission provide information on the amount of Community resources granted to colleges of higher
education and research institutions in Catalonia in 1995, 1996 and 1997, and on the measures to which such funds
were allocated, as part of:
1. the first framework programme for research, technological development and demonstration,
2. Community programmes in the areas of energy and the environment,
3. Community initiatives, in particular the Interreg programme,
4. the Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe programmes,
5. the regional and structural funds and
6. the remaining Community programmes?

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(7 May 1998)

Because of the length of the answer, which includes a number of tables, the Commission is sending it direct to the
Honourable Member and to Parliament’s Secretariat.

(98/C 310/203) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0935/98

by Antonio Tajani (PPE) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: Health protection for local police officers

There is no provision in Italian law for local police officers to be included on registers of workers at risk of
industrial disease. Between 1980 and 1996, 180 municipal police officers in active service died in Rome alone,
42% of them from cancer and 40% from cardiopulmonary disease. The average age of death was 51 years.
Compared to other workers, on at-risk registers, the death rate for municipal police officers appears to be
extremely high and death is almost always caused by diseases contracted in the course of their work on the
streets, in contact with harmful atmospheric agents.

Does the Commission not agree that the failure of the Italian government to place local police officers on at-risk
registers breaches all the Community laws on health protection?

Does the Commission not agree that this is a violation of the Treaties of Rome, Maastricht and Amsterdam and of
the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers?

What measures does the Commission intend to take to ensure that the Italian Government upholds the rights of
workers employed by local police organizations?

Answer given by Mr Flynn on behalf of the Commission

(8 May 1998)

The framework Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage
improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (1) and the individual directives adopted pursuant to it
do not impose any obligation on Member States to designate or classify specific occupations as ‘risk categories’.
Furthermore, in the specific case of police forces, Article 2(2) of Directive 89/391/EEC states that the Directive is
not applicable where characteristics peculiar to certain specific activities inevitably conflict with it. In that event,
C 310/148 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

the safety and health of workers must be ensured as far as possible in the light of the objectives of the Directive.
This means that police force activities largely fall outside the scope of Community law on the health and safety of
workers at work and are therefore covered by substitute measures of a strictly national nature.

The Commission does not feel that any provisions of Community law have been violated. The responsibility for
solving the problem raised by the Honourable Member lies exclusively with the Italian authorities.

(1) OJ L 183, 29.6.1989.

(98/C 310/204) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0937/98

by José Escudero (PPE) to the Commission
(16 March 1998)

Subject: Cultural cooperation with Latin America

Can the Commission provide information on the arrangements for participating in cultural cooperation with
Latin America through the existing funds? Are there public tendering procedures or aid and/or cofinancing
programmes for approved and published projects which would enable citizens and cultural organizations to gain
access to participation in and the distribution of such funds?

Answer given by Mr Marı́n on behalf of the Commission

(8 April 1998)

Between 1992 and 1997 the Commission provided a total of ECU 3.5 million to finance a number of cultural
cooperation projects with Latin American countries. The main areas of cooperation were: Latin American
cultural identity and cultural dialogue, the common heritage of Europe and Latin America, the image of Latin
America in Europe, the cultural heritage and cultural tourism.

Furthermore, in accordance with Article 5 of Council Regulation No 443/92 (EEC) of 25 February 1992 on
financial and technical assistance to, and economic cooperation with, the developing countries in Asia and Latin
America (1), the Commission devotes particular attention to the cultural aspects of all the development projects it
finances in Latin America. As regards applications for and allocation of project financing, the Commission
applied the rules and standards in force at the time.

(1) OJ L 52, 27.2.1992.

(98/C 310/205) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0945/98

by Jesús Cabezón Alonso (PSE) to the Commission
(30 March 1998)

Subject: Nicaragua’s foreign debt

In Nicaragua’s budget for 1997, servicing foreign debt accounted for 11.2% of GDP, while the international
cooperation funds received amounted to 8% of GDP.

The annual burden posed by servicing and repaying debt represents a substantial percentage of the amount
gained through exports, which places a constraint on Nicaragua’s opportunities for development.

Foreign debt currently stands at $6108.5 million, 66.9% of which corresponds to bilateral debt.

How is the Commission cooperating with Nicaragua with a view to cancelling the balance and servicing of
Nicaragua’s foreign debt, which would make it possible to lay the foundations for sustainable development in
that country?