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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/1




(2003/C 110 E/001) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0657/02

by Jillian Evans (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(8 March 2002)

Subject: Persecution of Vietnamese citizens

The suffering of Vietnamese citizens, in particular members of the Vietnamese Evangelical Mennonite
denomination, has been brought to my attention. Members, such as Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang who help
run humanitarian projects to help the poor and destitute seem to be singled out for intimidation and
persecution. Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang has been severely beaten and his family and those in contact with
him  such teachers at the class he has organised for poor children, have also been arrested without cause
and suffered intimidation from the authorities.

In view of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights, it seems incredible that Vietnamese citizens can be treated in this manner.

What is the Commission’s policy with regard to relations with Vietnam, and what can the Commission do
to ensure that Vietnamese citizens do not suffer such persecution and are able to live their lives free of
repression regardless of faith or race?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(12 April 2002)

The Commission Delegation in Hanoi, together with the Diplomatic Missions of the Member States,
follows closely the human rights situation in Vietnam.

The Commission’s approach towards Vietnam in the field of human rights, as it is towards all countries, is
to encourage and support progress on human rights and democratisation, and to raise concerns where
abuses occur, in the framework of the international human rights instruments. This approach was
reiterated in the May 2001 Commission Communication (1) on the Union’s role in promoting human
rights and democratisation in third countries.

In the case of Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang, while the Commission has noted the information given on one
of the internet websites ( indicating  inter alia  that he was reportedly detained for
operating a school for children without official permission, the Commission has not yet received
independent confirmation of the events reported. The Commission Delegation in Hanoi has therefore been
requested to make enquiries and to take appropriate follow-up action in conjunction with the Member
State missions.
C 110 E/2 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

The Commission Delegation in Hanoi and the Diplomatic Missions of the Member States raise issues of
concern in relation to human rights in Vietnam on an ongoing basis. For example, the Commission can
inform the Honourable Member that the human rights situation in Vietnam was discussed during the
Union-Vietnam Joint Commission in Hanoi on 6 November 2001 and again raised during the donors
Consultative Group Meeting in Hanoi on 7-8 December 2001.

(1) COM(2001) 252 final.

(2003/C 110 E/002) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0729/02

by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(14 March 2002)

Subject: Beef premium

As part of the Swedish Presidency’s proposed compromise, adopted by the Agriculture Council on 19 June
2001 in Luxembourg, it was agreed that special premiums would be guaranteed in principle in all Member
States for a maximum of 90 animals per farm and that stock density would be reduced to 1,8 livestock
units per hectare.

Can the Commission say:

 How many farms in the individual Member States are above this limit?

 How many farms in the applicant countries are above this limit?

 Whether there are any plans to introduce an identical or a similar limit for other agricultural sectors?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(3 May 2002)

The terms of application of the provision on a maximum of 90 animals per age bracket, calendar year and
farm for granting of the special premium were tightened up by the Council when it adopted Regulation
(EC) No 1512/2001 of 23 July 2001 (1) amending its Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 of 17 May 1999 on
common organisation of the market in beef and veal (2).

On the basis of the initial version of Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 1254/1999 ten Member States had
decided to ignore or waive the 90-animal limit.

At present two Member States have officially informed the Commission of their intention to waive or
ignore this limit for 2002 under the new rules set by Regulation (EC) No 1512/2001.

The stocking density requirement expressed in livestock units (LU) per hectare restricts the number of
animals on which the special premium and the suckler cow premium can be paid. On this matter the
Commission has information provided by the Member States for the purposes of ongoing management of
the premium system.

For each of the premiums Member States notify the number of animals on which it has been granted and
the number of producers receiving it, and also the number of animals and producers to which the stocking
density requirement does not apply because the animals amount to less than 15 LU.

The rules in force do not require Member States to provide information on areas or number of farms
involved, or on the number of producers or animals excluded from the premiums for failure to meet the
stocking density requirement.

However, given that compliance with the stocking density requirement is a condition for granting of the
special premium and the suckler cow premium producers receiving either or both of them are considered
to comply with it.