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9. 10.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/153

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(28 April 1998)

The Commission can inform the Honourable Members that the articles in the Italian press, which led to their
questions, contained wrong information.

The declaration of the Slovene ambassador in Rome recently published in several Italian newspapers was
immediately denied by the Ministry of foreign affairs in Ljubljana. The Ambassador confirmed that the press
information did not correspond either with the official position of the Slovene government or with his personal
view. In an official communication released the day after the interview, the Slovene Ministry of foreign affairs
stated that bilateral relations between Italy and Slovenia were excellent and inspired by common interest for
stability, friendly co-operation, common European future and reciprocal protection of their minorities in the
respective countries.

Although the Commission is not competent for bilateral issues beween Slovenia and Member States, it is closely
monitoring outstanding issues to ensure that pre-accession negotiations are smoothly and objectively carried out.

(98/C 310/212) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1004/98


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(26 March 1998)

Subject: The Commission’s plans for nuclear energy in the Eastern European applicant countries

1. Is it true that, in connection with enlargement to the East, the Commission intends to make more funds
available for nuclear energy than for all other aspects of environmental policy put together? What is the exact
breakdown of the funds allocated?

2. Is it true that the Commission plans to make funds available from a new ISPA Fund to pay for the disposal
of material from Eastern European reactors? How much money is involved? How, in detail, is the money to be
used?

3. Is not the Commission putting the cart before the horse with such plans? Is it not ecologically and
economically necessary first to allocate funding for energy saving programmes and the promotion of alternative
and renewable energy sources before disposal can be planned and financed? What is the Commission doing to
facilitate the closing down of unsafe reactors?

4. What is the point in ‘disposal’? Is it not more expensive and more dangerous than making the reactors safe
in situ? Could the proposed funding not be used more efficiently in other areas of environmental protection?

5. Is it true that at present ‘disposal of material from old reactors’ is a national matter, to which the Euratom
Treaty makes no reference? Ought not the Treaty accordingly to be amended before the Commission can take
any action at all? Does the Commission envisage that even EU Member States which do not themselves produce
any nuclear power should participate financially in the proposed measures?

6. Does the Commission agree that promoting alternative and renewable energy sources would primarily
benefit the industries of the applicant countries, whereas disposal would exclusively assist the Western nuclear
industry? Is not the Commission thereby placing itself at the service of the Western nuclear lobby and damaging
Eastern European industry?

7. Is it true that the Commission is giving nuclear power priority over environmental protection at the urging
of Commissioner Hans van den Broek? Does not the delay in producing the communication on environmental
protection and enlargement to the East demonstrate that the Commission attaches little importance to
environmental protection?
C 310/154 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10. 98

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(24 April 1998)

1. and 2. The Commission has not yet defined the breakdown, among the various areas, of the expected
financial support in the framework of the pre-accession strategy. This will depend on the arrangements to be
made for the implementation of the accession partnerships with the individual candidate countries. The Com-
munity will have to specify its financial participation when a satisfactory comprehensive agreement has been
reached with the countries concerned, taking into account the implications of various options in respect to future
energy policies and when a proper estimate of the size of the funds which might be required will be available.
Over the two years 1998-1999, a PHARE allocation of 50 MECU is envisaged for both years for multi-country
nuclear projects. Beyond 2000, PHARE will continue to finance nuclear safety projects. The possibility to
finance projects related to nuclear pollution under the environment component of the instrument for structural
policies for pre-accession (ISPA) cannot, a priori, be excluded.

3. and 4. Support for the decommissioning of plants will only be envisaged for those reactors which cannot be
upgraded to international safety standards at reasonable cost.

5. Support to the candidate countries for the decommissioning of nuclear reactors does not require a
modification of the Euratom Treaty. It is up to the individual Member States to decide whether or not they would
like to participate in the decommissioning of nuclear reactors in the countries concerned.

6. and 7. On the basis of the accession partnerships, the Commission will further assist in the introduction of
renewable and alternative energies as part of the overall energy reform in the countries concerned. This should
allow them to be less dependent on nuclear power and activities in this area will benefit their populations and
their economies. In the same way, the closure of the least safe reactors is a significant measure to improve
environmental conditions.

(98/C 310/213) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1013/98


by Wilmya Zimmermann (PSE) to the Council
(3 April 1998)

Subject: Problems concerning the freedom of movement in the EU for foreign children fostered by German
families

Foreign foster children often do not have the same status as their foster parents. This is frequently the case with
the children of asylum-seekers or foreign nationals’ children who have not been issued with passports by their
States of origin (including some EU Member States). This commonly causes difficulties with regard to the
freedom of movement (when crossing national borders).

1. How is it planned to resolve this problem within the EU?

2. To what extent will the solution take account of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Hague
Convention on adoption or the proposal for a European convention on the right to family life drawn up by the
European Coordination for the Right of Foreign Nationals to Family Life (25, bld de Bonne Nouvelle, F-75002
Paris)?

Answer
(16/17 June 1998)

1. On 30 November 1994 the Council adopted a Joint Action on the basis of Article K.3(2)(b) of the Treaty on
European Union concerning travel facilities for school pupils from third countries resident in a Member State (1).
Under Article 1 of the Joint Action, a Member State may not require visas of school pupils who are third-country
nationals if they are resident in another Member State and are travelling as members of a group of school pupils
in the framework of a school excursion.

Under Article 2, Member States may not require a passport or ID card of such pupils on condition, among other
things, that the teacher accompanying the group of pupils is able to present a list including recent photographs of
all the pupils therein mentioned.