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C 280 E/128 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 3.10.


Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(15 February 2000)

The Commission has recently extended their qualifying destinations for orange export subsidies. All
countries outside the Community now qualify (Regulation (EC) No 67/2000 of 12 January 2000 fixing
export refunds on fruit and vegetables (1)). This considerably simplifies the administrative procedures on
payment on the refund.

Refund rate for lemons has been increased from EUR 35 to EUR 45 per tonne because of the current
difficulties in exporting from the Community.

On surplus production the Honourable Member is referred to the Commission’s replies to his questions
E-393/99 (2) and E-2327/99 (3).

(1) OJ L 9, 13.1.2000.
(2) OJ C 341, 29.11.1999.
(3) OJ C 219 E, 1.8.2000, p. 147.

(2000/C 280 E/138) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2787/99

by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(18 January 2000)

Subject: Community funding for the school of Sardinian language and culture in Quartu S. Elena

In the municipality of Quartu S. Elena, the most important school of Sardinian language in the region risks
closure, because the funds expected from the Sardinian regional government and from the EU have not yet
arrived: it is thus possible that the courses arranged for the 1999-2000 academic year, for which large
numbers of students have already registered, will have to be cancelled. Quartu S. Elena, a pioneer in the
official use of Sardinian (inter alia in the municipality’s official documents), could thus be forced to
interrupt a cultural initiative which achieved remarkable success in 1998, with eleven courses and close on
300 participants. The objective of this school has been to enable all to understand, read and write
Sardinian: the project took off with the arrival of regional funding under the Italian ‘Law 26’, together with
ECU 20 000 from the EU and LIT 50 million from the municipality. This funding  approximately
LIT 150 million in all  made it possible to set up operations with free classes for both adults and

The available funds have now been exhausted, and the municipality of Quartu S. Elena has launched an
appeal to the EU and the Sardinian regional government, calling on them to ensure that funding is not cut
off. After requesting funding for the project ‘Deu fueddu su sardu’, the municipal administration has also
embarked on a cooperation scheme involving a Catalan-language school in Xebia (Valencian Community,
Spain) and the University of Corsica, preparing a cycle of courses which should have begun already.
Quartu S. Elena has also taken part in a international competition with the objective of safeguarding and
promoting the European cultural heritage, made up as it is of over fifty language communities.

In view of the importance and seriousness of this educational and cultural project, dedicated to a regional
minority language which is officially recognised by the European Bureau for Lesser-used Languages, does
the Commission consider that immediate action is required to ensure funding for the activities of the
school of Sardinian language and culture in Quartu S. Elena, thus enabling it to stay open?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(10 February 2000)

The learning and spread of minority languages help maintain the linguistic and cultural diversity of the
European Union. The Community promotes the regional and minority languages of the Union by
implementing the action ‘The promotion and safeguard of regional and minority languages and culture’,
financed under budget heading B3-1000.
3.10.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 280 E/129

The Sardinian language school in Quartu S. Elena benefited from Community funding to launch the
project as a pilot project in 1998. The priority for Community funding and its necessary added value is to
favour new initiatives which could not be run without funding from the Community action. When the
project was resubmitted in 1999, it could only be put on the reserve list, as other projects were of better
quality or greater priority, and unfortunately the budget limit meant that it could not be funded.

(2000/C 280 E/139) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2788/99

by Eija-Riitta Korhola (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(7 January 2000)

Subject: Discrimination of the remote and peripheral regions of the EU assessing the research task ‘Climate
variability and abrupt climate change’ of the EESD programme

Will the Commission give an assurance that within the assessment of research task 2.1.4 ‘Climate
variability and abrupt climate change’ of the EESD programme it will try to ensure that remote and
peripheral regions of the EU  which lie outside direct human influence and are therefore crucial for the
understanding of natural climate variability and where research may be expensive  will not be
discriminated against on grounds of cost?

Answer given by Mr Busquin on behalf of the Commission

(11 February 2000)

As is the case for all the topics of the key action on global change, climate and biodiversity (including the
research tasks ‘climate variability and abrupt climate change’) of the Energy, environmental and substain-
able development) (EESD) specific research programme (1), the most important criterion for evaluation of
research proposals is the scientific quality and relevance to the work programme. The Commission’s
evaluation manual for proposals within the Fifth framework programme clearly states that the projects are
selected based on quality, while ensuring equality of treatment and impartiality.

Obviously, sound and high quality climate variability research will continue to be supported subject to
evaluators’ recommendations and the available budget. Several ongoing projects of the Fourth framework
programme for Research and technological development (RTD) deal with research undertaken in ‘remote
and peripheral’ regions of the Community and beyond e.g. Arctic and Antarctic.

(1) OJ L 64, 12.3.1999.

(2000/C 280 E/140) WRITTEN QUESTION P-2789/99

by Paul Coûteaux (UEN) to the Commission

(7 January 2000)

Subject: The directive on labelling and the sale of French-labelled products in France

The Advocate-General, Mr Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer, believes that French legislation making it obligatory that
food products in France be labelled in French infringes the European Directive on Labelling.