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C 137 E/38 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

(2003/C 137 E/042) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1921/02


by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(3 July 2002)

Subject: Child protection in sport

Are there any EU policies that ensure that individuals with child abuse records are prohibited from
working as volunteers or coaches in sport?

What exchange of information takes place between Member States, Europol, and Interpol to safeguard the
interests of children taught by overseas coaches with child abuse records?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(14 August 2002)

The Council is currently discussing a Commission proposal for a Framework Decision on combating sexual
exploitation of children and child pornograph (1) which provides common definitions and sanctions with a
view to facilitating law enforcement and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. The discussion includes
the issue of criminalisation of the behaviour to engage a child in sexual activities where abuse has been
made of a recognised position of trust, authority or influence. It also includes the issue of prohibiting
natural persons from exercising activities related to the supervision of children when they have been
convicted of sexual exploitation of children or child pornography.

Furhermore, the Danish Presidency of the Union has recently submitted a proposal for a Council Decision
increasing cooperation between Member States with regard to disqualifications which are imposed on
natural persons as part of a judgment or as a corollary of a criminal conviction and which restrict the
convicted persons’s access to employment, with the exception of driving disqualifications The proposal
requires Member States to establish a national contact point for exchange of information on
disqualifications, and to inform any other Member State of disqualifications in respect of the latter
Member State’s nationals. Being the Danish proposal intended to provide for all sorts of decisions on
disqualifications, it would also include disqualifications which restrict convicted persons for sexual
exploitation of children or child pornography from exercising activities related to the supervision of
children.

Europol has the competence to address crimes relating to the sexual exploitation of children and child
pornography. Successful operations under the co-ordination of Europol, involving the Member States and
Interpol, have taken place. Europol has also signed a co-operation agreement with Interpol.

The Commission is not aware of the existence of any exchange information systems between Member
States, Europol and Interpol on the subject matter.

(1) OJ C 62 E, 27.2.2001.

(2003/C 137 E/043) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1969/02


by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(8 July 2002)

Subject: Falun Gong

Is the Commission aware of allegations that the Chinese Government is persecuting and has persecuted
practitioners of Falun Gong, and has the Commission made any representations to the Chinese
Government about this issue?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/39

Does the Commission believe that the Chinese Government has any acceptable justification for its alleged
behaviour, and does it have any evidence that Falun Gong practitioners pose a threat to the stability of the
state, to the Communist Party, to law and order, or to commerce in China?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 2002)

The Commission closely follows the human rights situation in China and is aware of incidents concerning
Falun Gong practitioners. The Union has on several occasions undertaken formal démarches to the Chinese
authorities, to express concern about reports of torture and ill treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, who
have been arrested and the harshness of sentences given to those practitioners. The Commission has urged
China to review such harsh sentences, and to ensure that safeguards for a fair trial, including adequate legal
representation, are fully respected for all individuals. It has also called on China to comply with the United
Nations (UN) human rights covenants it has signed, which include provisions concerning freedom of
expression and the right to a fair trial.

A bilateral dialogue on human rights was established between the Union and China in 1996. In this
framework the Union has regularly raised  and will continue to raise  individual cases of concern,
including those of Falun Gong practitioners. The issue was also raised during the last round of the dialogue
in Madrid in April 2002.

The Commission is not aware of any evidence that Falun Going practitioners pose a threat to the stability
of the China, to the Communist Party, to law and order, or to commerce, in China.

(2003/C 137 E/044) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1990/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(8 July 2002)

Subject: Right to vote for non-Community nationals

The Greek press reports that the population in many areas in Greece is deeply concerned that economic
migrants, who have poured into Greece in their hundreds of thousands in recent years (many of whom
have obtained the ‘green card’ work permit), will soon acquire the right to vote in local and regional
elections. Such a step would clearly affect the sovereignty of the Greek people and compromise the
mandate given by local communities to local representatives.

Is there any causal relationship between the ‘green card’ and the granting of the right to vote to non-
Community nationals under Community legislation?

Is the Commission aware of any cases where temporary workers who are non-Community nationals have
acquired the right to vote in Greece and the other Member States of the Union?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(9 August 2002)

The Honourable Member’s question concerns the third country national’s right to vote in the Member
States.

The right to vote of third country nationals residing in a Member State in elections of that Member State
belongs solely to the competence of the Member States. Regarding municipal elections, this is explicitly
confirmed in Directive 94/80/EC (1), which provides that nothing in that Directive affects each Member
State’s provisions concerning the right to vote or to stand as a candidate of third country national who
reside in that State.