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C 304/26 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 2. 10.

98

The cost for national budgets of the Member States can be roughly estimated taking into account that the
Commission supports about 50% of the veterinary expenditure and about 70% of the cost of the exceptional
market support measures in Member States.

2. The Commission is aware that classical swine fever marker vaccines are being developed. However, no
applications for registration of marker vaccines have been sent to the European medicinal evaluation agency in
London. Therefore it appears unlikely that a marker vaccine will be available on the market before 12-15 months.

Moreover, data are lacking on the potential use of such vaccines in an emergency situation that are essential to
amend current Community legislation regarding classical swine fever and to avoid any negative effect on trade of
pigs and pork linked to the use of marker vaccines.

Therefore, in agreement with the opinion recently delivered by the scientific veterinary committee on this matter,
the Commission is evaluating the possibility to support a laboratory trial aimed at evaluating the potential use of
such vaccines in field conditions.

3. The Commission will consider the existing arrangement relating to financial contribution in view of its
possible amendment.

(1) OJ L 224, 18.8.1990.

(98/C 304/36) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0064/98


by Gijs de Vries (ELDR) to the Commission
(15 January 1998)

Subject: Restrictions on direct marketing

On 7 April 1994, a complaint was lodged with the European Commission concerning restrictions on the
establishment of a mail-order record business in Germany (case no 94/4337, SG(94) A/10269, PolyGram). It took
the Commission more than two years (until November 1996) before it initiated a procedure under Article 169. In
December 1997, the Commission had still not delivered a reasoned opinion on the matter.
1. Would the Commission explain why it has not taken this complaint more seriously?
2. Does the Commission agree that the delays incurred are detrimental to the competitive position of the direct
marketing industry, one of the growth sectors in the electronic trading business?
3. Will the Commission now treat this complaint as a matter of priority?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(24 February 1998)

1. The Commission would like to reassure the Honourable Member that it has taken the complaint in question
very seriously. Firstly, before sending the letter of formal notice in October 1996, it had already had an exchange
of correspondence with the German authorities. Since then, the time taken to look into the matter reflects the
particularly complex legal issues involved. Identification of the services concerned, the nature of the restrictions
objected to, the objectives being pursued and the proportionality of the restrictions in relation to the
general-interest objectives require detailed examination and in-depth investigation, due regard being had to both
the Court’s case-law and the characteristics of the distance-selling market in Germany. The Commission will
endeavour to complete this detailed analysis as quickly as possible.

2. and 3. There are no statistical data to suggest that the restrictions encountered by the complainants on
account of the German legislation affect the entire direct marketing industry in the Community. Between 1991
and 1996 mail-order sales rose by 22% and the German market alone accounts for half of the total turnover (1). It
is true though that the bulk of mail-order sales are still transacted at national level. The problems faced by the
industry as regards cross-border sales are, in many cases, linked to logistical
2. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 304/27

difficulties and, admittedly, to differences in national legislation governing business practices. In view of these
differences and in the absence of harmonisation directives, the Commission is doing its utmost to ensure that
Community legislation, and especially the principle of proportionality, is applied whenever national rules
hamper the freedom to provide services.

(1) Source: European Mail Order Traders Association (EMOTA).

(98/C 304/37) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0066/98


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(29 January 1998)

Subject: Leonardo Programme

In the new version of the Leonardo Programme, aid to businesses has been increased and, at the same time, aid to
non-governmental organizations has been abolished.

On what grounds was that decision taken?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission


(17 February 1998)

The future of the new generation of vocational training programmes of the Community is currently under internal
discussion within the Commission. Hence, there can now be no statements about the future policy of support.

Within the frame of the current programme Leonardo da Vinci, the activities in support of enterprises, especially
of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), have had special emphasis. The reason for that is the orientation of
the European training policy towards labour market and employment policy issues, which was confirmed by the
European Council of Luxemburg in November 1997. The employment European Council and the subsequent
employment guidelines of the Community stress the special role of SMEs in creating and stabilising jobs.

There is no policy of reducing or cutting support for non-governmental organisations within the current
programme Leonardo da Vinci. Moreover, an aim of European vocational training policy is to initiate or support
transnational co-operation and partnership structures between as many actors as possible. The support for
non-governmental organisations and co-operation structures also stems from the awareness that these
organisations play an important role in the labour market.

(98/C 304/38) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0069/98


by Gerhard Botz (PSE) to the Commission
(30 January 1998)

Subject: Possible investigations into the use of plant protection products and their impact on human fertility

In connection with the dramatic decline in the numbers of small game in intensively-farmed regions in recent
years, I have received an increasing number of approaches from members of hunting clubs and nature protection
societies bringing to my attention the scientific investigations recently carried out.