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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 330 E/209

(2000/C 330 E/242) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0716/00

by Christopher Heaton-Harris (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 March 2000)

Subject: The compliance of the payment of tuition fees in the UK with EU competition law

Following devolution in the UK, Scottish Universities now reduce and defer the payment of tuition fees for
European students (with the exception of the English, Welsh and Northern Irish), whereas all other UK
universities are obliged to demand the payment of fees on enrolment.

The dissimilar conditions applied to the financing of students in the UK offers Scottish Universities an
unfair competitive edge over their counterparts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, most particularly
in attracting international students. Could the Commission therefore confirm whether this situation fully
complies with the principles of the Community’s competition law as laid down in the European Treaties?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(3 April 2000)

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to his Written Question E-0374/00 (1).

(1) See page 143.

(2000/C 330 E/243) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0719/00

by Manuel Pérez Álvarez (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(17 March 2000)

Subject: Accidents at work

Analysts and observers generally agree that, by definition, work is a risk. Obviously, the risk is greater in
certain sectors than in others. Clearly, also, despite existing measures designed to prevent risks resulting in
accidents, accidents do occur all too frequently.

National politicians with responsibility in this area recognise both the virtue of these laws, and the fact that
they do not go far enough.

Job creation is a priority for the European Union. Those created must be quality jobs geared towards the
aim of eliminating accidents at work.

Does the Commission plan to implement or coordinate new measures aimed at reducing the number of
accidents at the workplace?

Answer given by Mrs Diamantopoulou on behalf of the Commission

(25 April 2000)

The Commission fully shares the Honourable Member’s view on the importance of the measures designed
to protect the health and safety of workers in order to reduce the number of occupational accidents. The
Commission’s policy in this area has always pursued this objective.

The directives in the area of ‘health and safety at work’ that have been adopted by the Council on the basis
of proposals from the Commission constitute a minimum foundation of measures for protecting workers
from occupational accidents and occupational diseases.

It is the responsibility of the Member States to ensure appropriate monitoring and surveillance of the
application of the national provisions that transpose these directives.
C 330 E/210 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.11.2000

In order to facilitate the application of the directives and to help to reduce occupational accidents, the
Commission initiates non-legislative measures, including the drafting of non-binding practical guides,
whenever this is needed.

In this connection, the Commission would also draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the activities
of the Agency for Health and Safety at Work, and especially to the conference on health, safety and
employability that was held in September 1999 in Bilbao. At this conference, mention was made of the
links between exclusion from the labour market, employability, occupational rehabilitation, the culture of
the protection of health and safety at work and equal opportunities, the adaptation of the working
environment to man and the competitiveness of firms.

A copy of the conclusions of this conference is being sent directly to the Honourable Member and to the
Secretariat-General of the Parliament.

(2000/C 330 E/244) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0729/00

by Daniel Varela Suanzes-Carpegna (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(6 March 2000)

Subject: EU-Korea meeting and the European shipbuilding industry

When appearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry in December 1999, the
Commissioner responsible for enterprise, Mr Liikanen, said that the Commission was to meet with Korea
to discuss current problems affecting the shipbuilding industry at international level and, specifically, the
unfair competition practised by Korea in this sector.

Has the Commission held any meetings with Korea to discuss these problems?

If so, at what level were the meeting or meetings held, what was on the agenda and what were the results?

What strategy and what measures has it adopted or will it adopt further to the contacts it has had with

What is the schedule for future meetings with Korea, at what level will they be held and what is on the

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(5 April 2000)

In line with the conclusions of the Industry Council of 9 November last year, a dialogue between the EU
and Korea has got under way in an effort to find solutions to the problems of unfair competition in the
shipbuilding industry. The Commission has pointed out that, in the absence of satisfactory results, the
Community industry could very quickly lodge a complaint with it under the Trade Barriers Regulation
which could lead in due course to proceedings in the World Trade Organisation.

Following initial contacts in Paris on 14 December last year, a Commission delegation went to Seoul on
10 and 11 February seeking clear commitments whereby the Koreans would acknowledge their responsi-
bility in the crisis currently affecting the sector, undertake not to intervene to rescue bankrupt shipyards
and promise to implement transparency rules, in particular international accounting standards ensuring
that ships are priced so as to cover all costs. At this stage, Korea did not accept the EU proposal.