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5.2.1999

EN
EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 31/41

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(23 June 1998)

In reply to the Honourable Member’s question, the temporary special measures for the hops sector adopted by the Council on 25 May 1998 with a view to the temporary resting or grubbing up of hops are entirely optional for the producer Member States, which can decide whether to apply them or not.

1997 was taken as the base year for the measures because the prices on the open market, especially for German hops (which account for 80 % of the Community’s production), have fallen to very low levels that are appreciably below the average for the last 20 years.

(1999/C 31/051)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1461/98

by Honório Novo (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(13 May 1998)

Subject: Additional information concerning the EPAC restructuring and financial reorganization plan

In December 1997 the Portuguese Government notified the Commission of the measures contained in the EPAC restructuring and financial reorganization plan [EPAC = Agri-food and Cereals Company].

On receiving that notification the Commission asked the Portuguese Government to provide eleven additional pieces of information which it felt it needed in order to be able to analyse the plan in question and, therefore, to be able to assess the degree of compliance thereof with the EU Treaty.

Did the Commission consider the eleven additional pieces of information provided by the Portuguese authorities to be sufficient? What exactly was the substance of the information?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(5 June 1998)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to written question no. P-1423/98 by Mr Novo ( 1 ).

( 1 )

OJ C 402, 22.12.1998.

(1999/C 31/052)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1471/98

by Susan Waddington (PSE) to the Commission

(13 May 1998)

Subject: EU assistance to NGOs working with street children in Honduras

Many European Union citizens are concerned about the plight of homeless ‘street children’ in Honduras and other countries. What action is the Commission taking, both financially and politically, to support NGOs working in Honduras and other countries to improve the situation of these ‘street children’?

Answer given by Mr Marín on behalf of the Commission

(26 June 1998)

The Commission is aware of the plight of street children in Honduras and other countries.

C 31/42

Official Journal of the European Communities

EN
EN

5.2.1999

It has been supporting projects carried out by NGOs working with street children in Honduras since 1993.

These projects have focused on various fields, the main ones being:

− an information project designed to raise children’s awareness of their rights and how to uphold them;

− preventive actions, the aim of which is to help reintegrate street children into their family. The projects involve working with children but also with their family and people close to them;

− support for NGOs that manage shelters for street children. These projects take a comprehensive approach to children and include training schemes for young people to facilitate their reintegration into Honduran society.

The Commission also assists governmental bodies in finding solutions to the specific problems of street children.

The Commission finances large-scale projects in other central and south American countries with the collaboration and participation of local NGOs in almost all Latin American countries.

(1999/C 31/053)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-1495/98

by Heinz Kindermann (PSE), Jan Mulder (ELDR), Jan Sonneveld (PPE) and Robert Sturdy (PPE) to the Commission

(13 May 1998)

Subject: Availability of equine medicines

1. The Commission is surely aware that equine practitioners are confronted with an increasingly limited

number of veterinary medicinal products authorised for use in horses and that therefore the quality of treatment is impaired and animal welfare is compromised.

As a result, the Commission is also surely aware that, when no product is authorized in their own Member States, equine practitioners have, if they still want to treat the horses under their care, no other alternative but to use products imported from third Member States or to use products authorized in their own Member States but not for horses. Which in both cases is illegal.

What is the Commission prepared to do to restore the therapeutic arsenal of equine practitioners?

2. Does the Commission share our opinion that given the limited number of recreational horses which are

slaughtered each year in the Community, such horses should not be regarded as food-producing animals and that, should they nonetheless be slaughtered and enter the food-chain, public health could be protected by means of a set, conservative pre-slaughter waiting period, (e.g. 3 months)? Such a period would give enough confidence that any residues of products used throughout the life of the animal would have decreased below levels of any concern to the consumer.

Under such conditions, is the Commission prepared to make a distinction between recreational horses and those bred for meat production and to accept that veterinary medical products could be used in recreational horses when no maximum residue limits have been established for horses?

3. Despite the existing measures to increase the number of veterinary medicinal products available for minor

species or minor uses, veterinary practitioners are confronted with a limited number of products authorized for such uses or such species. Is the Commission prepared to investigate what further measures could be taken to increase the number of such products and to develop a policy modelled on the measures taken for Orphan Drugs necessary for the treatment of rare human diseases?