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C 303 E/80 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 24.10.

2000

It is difficult to compare the existing and future standards of the Community with those of the United
States or Japan. Other countries apply a different definition of waste and a different scope of application.
Moreover, settings such as standard oxygen contents of flue gas or different measurement intervals
complicate a comparison.

(1) OJ L 365, 31.12.1994.


(2) OJ L 163, 14.6.1989.
(3) OJ L 203, 15.7.1989.
(4) Press Release No 13293/99.

(2000/C 303 E/071) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2560/99


by Christopher Huhne (ELDR) to the Commission
(11 January 2000)

Subject: Sea water cleanliness

Would the Commission please publish the latest available figures showing the cleanliness of sea water at
the principal European Union coastal resorts, together with the equivalent figures for each resort for each
of the last five years?

Answer given by Mrs Wallström on behalf of the Commission


(17 January 2000)

The annual reporting obligations under Council Directive 76/160/EEC of 8 December 1975 concerning
the quality of bathing water (1) imply that a quality assessment of Member States’ bathing waters is made
after each bathing season.

The Directive requires that the data be reported to the Commission by 31 December by the responsible
authority of the Member State. The Commission collects all these data for its annual report that is
presented before the next bathing season around mid-May. The data on the 1999 bathing season will
therefore be presented in May 2000.

The latest available data are at the moment those of the 1998 bathing season. The references of the annual
paper report are: Quality of bathing water (1998 bathing season), May 1999  EUR 18831. This
information can also be found on the Europa internet site at http://europa.eu.int/water/water-bathing/
index_html. The atlas on the internet site gives the quality status of each individual bathing area since
1992.

(1) OJ L 31, 5.2.1976.

(2000/C 303 E/072) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2609/99


by Mogens Camre (UEN) to the Commission
(12 January 2000)

Subject: Breaches of human rights in Turkey

The Copenhagen criteria of 1993 require countries wishing to become members of the EU to guarantee
human rights and respect and protect minorities. According to Parliament’s Resolution of 6 October 1999
Turkey is still far away from meeting these criteria. For example, official Turkish policy includes a
prohibition on Christian religious activities and the Christian cathedral of Hagia Sophia is still under
Muslim occupation.

These clear breaches of human rights openly flout the Copenhagen criteria and it would therefore be
interesting to know what demands the Commission makes on Turkey in the course of their present
collaboration.

Under Article 28 of the Association Agreement Turkey receives aid from the European Union. Will the
Commission therefore describe the demands it makes in the course of its relations with Turkey regarding
Turkey’s treatment of its Christian minority?
24.10.2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 303 E/81

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(31 January 2000)

As far as grants from the Community budget are concerned the only financial instrument which Turkey
can currently benefit from is the MEDA programme (Council Regulation (EC) No 1488/96 of 23 July 1996
on financial and technical measures to accompany the reform of economic and social structures in the
framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership) (1).

According to its Article 3, the MEDA regulation is based on the respect of democracy, the rule of law as
well as human rights and fundamental freedoms. The violation of these principles could justify the
adoption of adequate measures by the Council. In the implementation of its co-operation with Turkey,
the Commission puts a particular emphasis on the respect of these principles.

In its last regular report on Turkey, adopted in October 1999, the Commission made an assessment on the
situation with respect to the so called Copenhagen criteria. It has concluded that Turkey does not meet for
the moment these criteria in the political field.

In particular the respect of freedom of religion is currently not satisfactory in Turkey. The main Christian
minorities in Turkey are Greek, Armenian (recognised as minorities by the Treaty of Lausanne) and Syriac
(Syrian Orthodox). The latter group, in particular, has in recent times been subject to discrimination and
harassment. Other Christians include United States-origin evangelical groups, which are frequently
harassed. As far as Aghia Sophia, the great church of Constantinople, is concerned, it was converted into
a mosque immediately after the capture of the city in 1453. This fate was shared by many other churches,
notably St Saviour in Chora which became the Kariye mosque. After the establishment of the Republic in
1923, Atatürk turned both churches into museums, with the result that they are freely accessible to those
of any religion or none. The mosaics have been uncovered and restored, and Aghia Sophia is currently in
the middle of a substantial renovation programme.

The Commission has been asked by the Helsinki European Council (December 1999) to prepare an
accession partnership to be adopted by the Council. In this document priorities for the fulfilling by Turkey
of the Copenhagen criteria, including the political priorities, will be established. The question of freedom of
religion will be raised in this framework.

(1) OJ L 189, 30.7.1996.

(2000/C 303 E/073) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2615/99

by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(12 January 2000)

Subject: Agricultural subsidies and the environment

What plans does the Commission have to curb the payment of subsidies which support agricultural
activities shown to cause ecological damage and to encourage ecologically positive farming methods?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(28 January 2000)

There are three elements at the core of the Community strategy to encourage ecologically positive farming
methods.