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C 172 E/198 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.7.

2002

(2002/C 172 E/210) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0438/02


by Peter Liese (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(12 February 2002)

Subject: Embryo stem cell research

The AP news agency quoted Philippe Busquin, the Member of the Commission responsible for research, on
31 January in a reaction to the German Bundestag’s vote on the use of human embryo stem cells in
research as saying that:

German researchers are now in a position to participate fully in EU-financed research projects
investigating the use of embryo stem cells in curing diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s or
heart defects.

The bill headed ‘No destructive embryo research 3 prohibit imports of human embryo stem cells in
principle 3 permit only under strict conditions’, which the Bundestag adopted by a majority, stipulates
that:

a law shall be adopted to combat the destruction of further embryos for the purposes of extracting
human embryo stem cells. The importation of human embryo stem cells is to be restricted to existing
stem cell lines established by a specified cut-off date. The setting of such a date ensures that, for the
purposes of importing human embryo stem cells into Germany, the killing of further embryos to
extract stem cells is prevented.

Commissioner Busquin’s words represent a fine-tuning of the Commission’s position. In its modified
proposal on the 6th Framework Programme for research of 22 November 2001 and its statement to the
Research Council on 5 December 2001, the Commission merely stated the view that the production of
embryos for research purposes, including nuclear transfer, was excluded. On the issue of embryo stem cell
research, it was not specified whether any embryo stem cell line can be used, or only those produced by a
cut-off date. What cut-off date does the Commission consider appropriate? How does it propose to verify
that the cut-off date arrangements are adhered to in practice?

Answer given by Mr Busquin on behalf of the Commission

(11 March 2002)

The Associated Press quote of the Member of the Commission responsible for Research welcoming the
vote of the German Bundestag is correct. His words do not alter the Commission’s position with respect to
the ethical conditions for the Sixth Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development, as
mentioned in the Commission Statement to the Minutes of the Research Council of 10 December 2001.

The fixing of a particular cut-off date, as well as other conditions envisaged by the German Bundestag, are
national decisions that researchers in Germany will have to respect when they participate in Community-
funded research projects. The proposed Specific Programmes for the Sixth Framework Programme for
Research and Technological Development (2002-2006) will require local ethical committees to give their
approval to projects raising ethical questions prior to their start.

(2002/C 172 E/211) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0459/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 February 2002)

Subject: Radio and television broadcasting councils in the EU countries

For several years the National Radio and Television Broadcasting Council (EPS) has been operating in
Greece and is supposed to control the quality of radio and television programmes that are broadcast and
ensure that they comply with the code of conduct. However, it is widely believed in Greece that this
Council fails to take decisive action, is spineless and takes no initiatives, and members of this council have
18.7.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 172 E/199

been ineffective in raising the cultural level of Greek people, which was supposed to be one of the basic
reasons for the establishment of the EPS in the first place. There have been very many instances in which
slanderous and indecent programmes have been broadcast, and there is a feeling that the television and
radio frequencies are the personal property of businessmen of every kind (some have connections with the
media while others have none whatsoever) who use these frequencies as they see fit.

Can the Commission say how many 3 and which 3 EU countries have radio and television broadcasting
councils? What precisely is their field of activity? Does any Community legislation exist on this matter?
Who owns the television and radio frequencies in each Member State? What sanctions have radio and
television broadcasting councils in other EU Member States imposed for violations of the code of conduct?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(12 April 2002)

The relevant Community legislation is Council Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 on the
coordination of certain provisions laid down by Law, Regulation or Administrative Action in Member
States concerning the pursuit of television broadcasting activities (1) as amended by Directive 97/36/EC of
the Parliament and of the Council of 30 June 1997 (2) (Television without Frontiers). This Directive
provides in Article 3(2) that Member States shall, by appropriate means, ensure, within the framework of
their legislation, that television broadcasters under their jurisdiction effectively comply with the provisions
of the Directive. It does not include specific obligation regarding the organisation of national media
authorities, which are therefore not monitored specifically by the Commission.

The Commission nevertheless cooperates closely with EPRA, the European platform of broadcasting
regulatory authorities. Detailed information on the organisation of broadcasting regulatory authorities
which are members of EPRA are available from its website http://www.epra.org. Regarding Luxembourg,
the only Member State where no regulatory organisation is a member of EPRA, information is available on
the following site: http://www.gouvernement.lu/gouv/fr/sip/media/encadrem/sma.html.

(1) OJ L 298, 17.10.1989.


(2) OJ L 202, 30.7.1997.

(2002/C 172 E/212) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0462/02


by Stavros Xarchakos (PPE-DE)
and Ioannis Averoff (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(22 February 2002)

Subject: Problems relating to set-aside in Greece

On 17 January 2002 thirty Members of the Greek Parliament tabled a topical question to the Ministry of
Agriculture in which they drew attention to the host of problems relating to the programme for the long-
term set-aside of agricultural land (Regulation (EC) 2078/92) (1).

Will the Commission say how many 3 and which 3 prefectures took part in this programme, what were
3 in the view of the Commission services 3 the results of this participation, whether the restitution of the
subsidies provided within the framework of this programme is being considered 3 or has already been
requested 3 and what were precisely the irregularities identified by the Commission during the
implementation of this programme in Greece? What specific responsibility does the Greek Ministry of
Agriculture have for the irregularities in the management of the programme alleged by the Greek Members
of Parliament?

(1) OJ L 215, 30.7.1992, p. 85.