C 219 E/172 (2000/C 219 E/219

)

Official Journal of the European Communities WRITTEN QUESTION E-2470/99 by Daniela Raschhofer (NI) to the Commission (16 December 1999) Subject: Prodi’s comments on ‘cracks in European solidarity’

EN

1.8.2000

According to newspaper reports, the gains made by the right in elections in Austria, Italy and Switzerland prompted the Commission President to warn, during a public appearance in Marzobotto, Italy, of ‘cracks in European solidarity’. Can the Commission answer the following: Would it be possible to obtain a copy of the original speech? How are we to interpret this warning? Which right-wing parties was the President referring to? Are the parties concerned democratic parties? What makes the Commission President think that the election results in Austria mean Europe is facing a ‘crisis’? Could the President define more precisely the ‘crisis’ referred to? How is this crisis manifested? What information does the President have which would suggest that the election results in Austria are giving rise to cracks in European solidarity? What makes the Commission President think that the election results in Austria are giving rise to cracks in European solidarity? Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission (28 January 2000) Unfortunately, there is no copy of the speech to which the Honourable Member refers, as it was not based on a written text. Although it is not up to the Commission as a rule to intervene in the domestic affairs of Member States, it is instructive here to recall the principle of solidarity enshrined in the preamble to the Treaty on European Union. It is also useful to recall Article 6(1) of the Treaty: ‘The Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States.’ Mr Prodi is very attached to the principle of solidarity, and the speech to which the Honourable Member refers must be interpreted in this light.

(2000/C 219 E/220)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-2471/99 by Mathieu Grosch (PPE-DE) to the Commission (16 December 1999)

Subject: Agencies for European programmes in Belgium 1. Is it correct that the Commission is planning to merge the three agencies in Belgium responsible for implementing European programmes in the areas of education and training and further training (for the Flemish-, French- and German-speaking communities respectively) into a single agency which will be responsible for the whole of the country? 2. For how much longer will the system involving the three agencies definitely remain in place?

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