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C 137 E/50 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

(2003/C 137 E/055) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2113/02


by Jorge Hernández Mollar (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 July 2002)

Subject: Digital radio serving the information community throughout the European Union

Radio faces a major challenge at the start of the 21st century: that of adapting to the digital revolution.
The fact that, in most of the EU Member States, public radio is firmly committed to acting as the driving
force behind digital radio makes that challenge unavoidable, despite the associated difficulties.

This is, therefore, a suitable occasion for the EU to propose using the kind of radio which emerges from
the digital revolution as a means of increasing the amount of information which it provides to the general
public regarding its various activities, so that radio can act as a special link between the EU institutions and
the man in the street.

Will the Commission say whether or not its programme for increasing the frequency with which the EU
provides information to the general public contains any provision for taking advantage of the benefits to
be derived from the widespread adoption of the kind of radio which emerges from the digital revolution 
such as using radio as a general means of communication regarding EU activities?

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(11 September 2002)

In the Communication on ‘An information and communication strategy for the European Union’ (1)
adopted on 2 July 2002, the Commission recognises that the role of radio is set to increase and that
presentation of information must be adapted to take account of the communications vector used. Efforts
are now being made to rebalance the information policy so that more emphasis is put on the provision of
information by radio and television for these are clearly the sources preferred by the citizens of the Union.

With respect to the system of radio used, it is a matter for the market to decide on the speed with which
digital radio services are made more widely available. The Commission has actively aided the development
of the new technology and ensures that its own information product (including Europe by Satellite (EbS) is
always available in digital form. If more people have access to radio as a result of the digital revolution,
information about the Union should reach a greater number of citizens.

(1) COM(2002) 350 final.

(2003/C 137 E/056) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2163/02


by Daniel Hannan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(18 July 2002)

Subject: ECB advertising campaign

The European Central Bank has published leaflets and run television advertisements in Britain with the
slogan ‘The Euro  Our Money’ which, since it is factually incorrect, can be considered as no more than
publicity for the single currency rather than as an information campaign. Could the Commission please say
what the legal basis in the Treaties is for the ECB to advertise the single currency in an EU Member State?
What consequences would there be at European level if no legal basis could be established? Furthermore,
what action, under the Treaties, might a country with strict political funding rules take against the ECB if it
deemed it to have interfered in the electoral process  say in the run-up to a referendum on the single
European currency?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/51

Answer given by Mr Solbes Mira on behalf of the Commission

(23 September 2002)

From a general point of view, since information campaigns impose no rights and obligations on third
parties and are by definition for information only, they do not require a specific legal basis. Even so, this
particular information campaign is a natural corollary of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) essential task
to authorise the issuance of banknotes in the euro area (Articles 106 of the Treaty and 16 of the Statute of
the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and of the ECB). Information campaigns by the Bank on the
introduction of the euro in an area composed of 12 of the 15 Member States only require a prior positive
decision of the ECB’s Governing Council.

Given that the euro is an international currency whose impact goes largely beyond the borders of those
12 Member States, such information campaigns also aim at informing people outside the euro area, in
particular about the appearance of the new banknotes and coins and the security features of those
banknotes. The British Government and the Bank of England, of which the latter is a member of the
European System of Central Banks, also proceed regularly with similar information campaigns.

With this aim, an international version of an ECB public information leaflet on the euro was translated
into 23 languages, apart from the 11 official languages of the Union, and was made available to people
outside the euro area.

(2003/C 137 E/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2188/02


by Richard Corbett (PSE) to the Council

(19 July 2002)

Subject: Human Rights Monitoring  Iran

Is the Council aware of the report on Iran dated March 2002 and drawn up by the UN Special
Representative to the Human Rights Commission who reiterated concerns about the growing number of
public executions and inhuman punishments, such as stoning, and the systematic discrimination against
women and the religious minorities in Iran?

Would the Council consider tabling coordinated resolutions drawn up by European Union Member States
and condemning the human rights violations in Iran at the forthcoming session of the UN General
Assembly?

Reply

(6 February 2003)

The Council is fully aware of the report by the Special Representative of the Commission on Human
Rights on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was referred to in the EU’s
draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, tabled at the 58th session of the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the spring of this year. The Council has been seriously concerned
for some time at the situation of human rights in Iran, which is why it has traditionally tabled resolutions
on this subject both at the CHR and at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.

The EU is currently considering whether to table a resolution concerning the situation of human rights in
Iran at the forthcoming session of the Third Committee. The Council would also remind the Honourable
Member of the conclusions on Iran which it adopted at its meeting on 21 October 2002.