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C 58 E/84 Official Journal of the European Union EN 6.3.


Moreover, the Commission has already announced its intention to amend the Regulation creating the
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in order to enable EMSA to purchase or lease anti-pollution
ships in cases of maritime pollution in the Union.

(1) Written reply, 11.3.2003.

(2) OJ C 242 E, 9.10.2003, p. 63.
(3) OJ C 280 E, 21.11.2003, p. 121.
(4) Oral reply, 8.4.2003.
(5) Council Decision 2001/792/EC, Euratom of 23 October 2001 establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate
reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions, OJ L 297, 15.11.2001.
(6) Council Decision 2850/2000 of 20 December 2000 setting up a Community framework for cooperation in the
field of accidental or deliberate marine pollution, OJ L 332, 28.12.2000.

(2004/C 58 E/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1664/03

by Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) to the Commission

(19 May 2003)

Subject: Cancellation of the colloquy on multilingualism

If my information is correct, the Commission agreed to finance a colloquy on multilingualism in the

European institutions and in Europe, to be held on 5/6 May 2003. Apparently, the Commission suggested
holding a preparatory meeting to draw up the list of topics to be discussed. The meeting was held on
27/28 January 2003 and was attended by experts from the Member States and eminent people in the
cultural sphere. Despite the apparent success of the preparatory meeting, the Commission decided to
cancel the scheduled colloquy.

1. Can the Commission state the reasons for the cancellation?

2. Does it not consider that by taking this decision it failed to exploit one of its institutional
prerogatives, that of identifying the general interest and making proposals for safeguarding it, and also
failed to meet the commitment it made to experts and representatives of civil society with whom the idea
of holding the colloquy originated?

3. Does it not consider, in the interests of respecting the cultural diversity of the EU countries, that a
harmonious balance should be reached between languages and populations, in order to avoid patronising
and silencing these different cultures by not promoting multilingualism?

4. Does it not consider that there is a close link between a people’s language and identity and that
exclusion of the former may be an attempt to abolish and proscribe the latter?

5. Does it not consider that it would be appropriate to consider once again the idea of holding the
colloquy on the value of multilingualism in the near future?

Answer by Mr Kinnock on behalf of the Commission

(10 July 2003)

Following an initiative from various bodies interested in language policies, a Symposium on Multi-
lingualism in the Enlarged Union and its Institutions was scheduled for 5/6 May 2003, in the European

In preparation, the Commission organised and financed a meeting with language experts from the Member
States on 27/28 January 2003.

Difficulties relating to the logistics of organising such an important event within the given timeframe
meant, however, that the symposium had to be postponed to a later date  not cancelled as the
Honourable Member asserts in her Question.
6.3.2004 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 58 E/85

The Commission has since, however, agreed that the project could and should be relaunched on a new
basis. The Language and Cultural Institutes and the Observatoire international de la langue française (OILF),
which set up the Preparatory meeting in January 2003 with the Commission and with Parliament has been
invited  together with other Institutes  to draft a proposal for organising this symposium. The proposal
should, inter alia, define the parameters and cost of such an event.

Depending on the terms of the proposal produced, the Commission will consider providing the technical
support for the setting up of the symposium, on the sensible condition that the Institutes and the OILF
take a leading role in its organisation.

This solution reflects the Commission’s support for encouraging fruitful external debate on the various
aspects of multilingualism and its adherence to its obligations under the EC Treaty and under its Internal
Rules of Procedure to ensure the practice of multilingualism by its Language Services through pragmatic
measures. Nothing that the Commission has done, or will do, could ever be fairly described as being part
of any attempt to ‘exclude’ languages or ‘abolish or proscribe’ identity. On the contrary, all policies and
actions of the Commission are motivated by the active commitment to foster cultural, linguistic and
personal diversity and distinctiveness.

(2004/C 58 E/102) WRITTEN QUESTION P-1675/03

by Inger Schörling (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(13 May 2003)

Subject: Follow-up question on compensation to EU fishermen

With respect to the earlier question on compensation that has been paid to EU fishermen for cessation of
fishing activities (P-0742/03 (1)), the Commission has given only a partial answer.

Apparently three Member States have made such payments under the current FIFG programme but the
Commission did not provide all of the data which were requested.

Spain and Portugal  compensation was paid resulting from the non-renewal of the Moroccan agreement
but no data are provided on the number of vessels and fishermen from each country or the time period(s)
involved. Also, the question referred to ship-owners, not vessels.

Belgium  no data are given on the time period(s) involved (was this for one or more events?) nor on the
fishery(ies) involved and the circumstances leading to the stoppage(s). Also, the question referred to ship-
owners, not vessels.

For the previous programming period, only the total amounts of compensation paid by each of four
Member States is given, whereas similar details were requested as in the current programme (fishery, time
period, number of fishermen and ship-owners, etc).

Could the Commission provide the missing information?

(1) OJ C 242 E, 9.10.2003, p. 170.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on bahalf of the Commission

(16 June 2003)

In this follow-up to the Hounourable Member’s Written Question P-0742/03, the Honourable Member
requests additional information regarding the implementation of Article 16 (temporary cessation of