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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 187 E/59

(2001/C 187 E/063) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3835/00

by Elisabeth Schroedter (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(7 December 2000)

Subject: EU financial support for an event involving representatives of the extreme right-wing music scene

In the light of the growth of racist, extreme right-wing and xenophobic trends in Europe, researchers have
particularly warned of the dangers posed by right-wing music, as it has an impact on young people who
have not yet come into close contact with extreme right-wing organisations.

1. Is the Commission aware that on 14 and 15 July 2000 a Dark Wave concert weekend with the title
Arcana Europa took place in Tarancon (80 km south-east of Madrid), at which a number of leading
representatives of the European extreme right-wing music scene performed, and that according to the web-
pages of the organiser, Los Cantos de Maldoror, the event was subsidised, inter alia, by the European
Union and Spanish regional authorities?

2. Is it true that the European Union helped to fund this concert?

If not, what measures will the European Union take against the organisers, who unlawfully advertised their
concert using the EU logo and a link to the EU’s home page?

If so, how can the Commission account for the decision to fund an event featuring performances by such
musicians as the Austrian Gerhard Petrak (who uses the pseudonym Kadmon), belonging to the group
Allerseelen, who has for some years been publishing material in extreme right-wing magazines in Germany
and produces a pamphlet of his own entitled Aorta, in which he does homage to representatives of
National Socialism, such as Karl-Maria Wiligut (SS brigade commander, creator of the SS death’s head,
Himmler’s advisor on esoteric issues)?

Does the Commission agree that these are clearly expressions of racist and extreme right-wing ideologies
and that under the general non-discrimination clause in Article 13 of the EC Treaty and the Commission’s
communication of 25 March 1998, An Action Plan against Racism (1), one of the aims of which is to
promote anti-racism projects, they must be combated?

3. At the beginning of July 2000, I informed the Commission’s representation that this concert had
been announced on the Internet and asked it what subsidies the European Union was providing. Despite
repeated inquiries (19 July, 3 August, 22 August, 7 September) as to whether the concert had received EU
funding, I still have not had any reply.

Did staff at the Commission’s representation in Berlin inform the appropriate departments in Brussels of
my concern, and what measures have since been taken with regard to this case?

4. If the European Union provided funding for this concert without initially being aware of its content,
what conclusions has it drawn, or decided to draw, from this?

Has repayment of the funding been demanded?

Has the Commission checked who was responsible for the decision to provide financial support?

(1) COM(98) 183 final.

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(28 March 2001)

1. The project ‘Arcana Europa’ received Community funding in 1999 of € 22 070 under the ‘youth
initiatives’ (local initiatives) of the ‘Youth for Europe’ programme; this was paid to the association ‘Los
Cantos del Maldoror’ once the agreement governing the grant had been signed.
C 187 E/60 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 3.7.2001

The dossier on which the selection of this project was based was proposed by the Spanish National
Agency for this programme (1). It contained no racist or xenophobic content to exclude it from receiving
Community funding.

2. The Commission’s Representation in Berlin informed the relevant departments in Brussels of the
Honourable Member’s comments.

An investigation has been carried out in the Spanish National Agency and the activity report submitted has
been analysed in depth. On the basis of the information it has available, the Commission was legally
obliged to comply with the terms of the above contract.

3. The Honourable Member’s written question provides additional information relating to activities
carried out under a pseudonym by one of the musicians involved in the concert which was part of the
project. The Commission was not in possession of this information when examining the dossier and was
not able to take it into account when assessing its eligibility.

4. The Commission shares the Honourable Member’s concerns regarding the fight against racism and
xenophobia. It condemns racism and intolerance of every kind and is committed to combating them. It
notes the comments made by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia concerning the
dangers related to music and new technologies as vehicles for racist and xenophobic messages and the
importance of positive educational measures, particularly for young people.

For this reason, even though in this specific case it does not feel that it is possible to go back on its legal
obligations, the Commission has decided to give priority in the Youth Programme to projects promoting
respect for human rights and combating racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. This theme was has been
selected as one of the priorities for the year 2001 in agreement with the programme’s Committee. It is
planned to organise a major conference on this issue in Berlin in the course of 2001, in cooperation with
the German Government.

In addition, the Commission will try, even more so than in the past, to put in place as many guarantees as
possible concerning projects receiving financial support under the Youth Programme, and will make
recommendations to this effect to the National Agencies.

(1) The National Agencies are responsible for implementing the programme at national level.

(2001/C 187 E/064) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3838/00

by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(7 December 2000)

Subject: Refusal of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to grant visas to Cypriots

The third Conference of Left-Wing Parties (Turkey, Greece and the two communities in Cyprus) in Istanbul
which was intended to make progress with the peace process and promote mutual understanding between
the two communities in Cyprus has been postponed because the Turkish Foreign Ministry refused to grant
a visa to representatives of AKEL which is the second largest party in the Cypriot Parliament. It should be
borne in mind that the first conference of the same parties scheduled to take place in Istanbul in 1998 had
had to contend with similar problems.

Does the Commission intend to intervene to persuade the Turkish Government not to hinder free
communications between parties of neighbouring countries in future? How does it view the fact that
a country which is a candidate for accession to the EU refuses to recognise another candidate country?