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C 113 E/228 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.4.


(2001/C 113 E/248) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3010/00

by Sebastiano Musumeci (UEN) to the Commission

(26 September 2000)

Subject: Bicentenary of the birth of Vincenzo Bellini

2001 will mark the bicentenary of the birth of the Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, considered to be one
of the greatest composers of all time.

The local authorities in the region where he was born will commemorate him with a series of events
which will involve the principal places where he lived and worked (Italy, Great Britain and France).

Since Bellini’s works can be considered as part of the world’s cultural heritage, can the Commission say
what moral and financial support it intends to offer to the planned celebrations?

Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

(30 October 2000)

The Commission can support cultural initiatives as part of and according to the criteria of the ‘Culture
2000’ programme, the Union’s only financing and programming instrument for cultural cooperation.

In this context, the Commission would like to draw the Honourable Member’s attention to the fact that a
call for proposals for projects taking place during 2001 will be published in the Official Journal before the
end of this year and, consequently, actors in this field will then have the opportunity to submit projects for
possible funding.

(2001/C 113 E/249) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3011/00

by Sebastiano Musumeci (UEN) to the Commission

(19 September 2000)

Subject: Risks to the Sicilian fishing fleet posed by high diesel fuel prices

In Sicily fishing is one of the main sources of income for the many families working in the midst of the
biggest Mediterranean fleets.

Diesel oil, without which fishing is impossible, has recently become prohibitively expensive.

These price increases could paralyse the Sicilian fishing fleet and further jeopardise the already precarious
employment situation in the fisheries sector.

Will the Commission therefore take additional and/or compensatory measures to alleviate the severe
financial hardship being suffered by fishermen, giving particular priority to those based in Objective 1

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(12 October 2000)

The Commission carefully monitors oil prices and shares the Honourable Member’s concern over the
economic impact of the rise in fuel prices, notably on the fisheries sector, which it is well aware is
particularly seriously affected owing to the generally high proportion that fuel accounts for in the running
costs of fishing enterprises.
18.4.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 113 E/229

Any action taken in response to the situation must not adversely affect the terms of competition between
Member States. It is to this end that when it met on 6 September the Commission defined for all sectors
affected a general orientation based on the need to devise a long-term strategy.

The Commission is perfectly ready to examine with the Member States the possibilities for action of the
types specified in Council Regulation (EC) No 2792/1999 of 17 December 1999 laying down detailed
rules and arrangements regarding Community structural assistance in the fisheries sector (1). The provisions
of Article 88 (ex-93) of the EC Treaty must of course be respected.

(1) OJ L 337, 30.12.1999.

(2001/C 113 E/250) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3013/00

by Freddy Blak (PSE) to the Commission

(26 September 2000)

Subject: Harassment of foreign tour guides

Several European cities have a local administration which prevents foreign couriers, guides and tour
managers from working in their area under local protectionist rules. These rules often require special
qualifications which only local guides can have.

A considerable number of tour guides have been arrested and have had to pay large fines for carrying out
their work, which is unacceptable and contrary to internal market rules on the free movement of labour. Is
it true that the Commission does not intend to take measures against a country such as Italy where
particularly flagrant breaches of the Treaty of Rome provisions on freedom of movement occur?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(7 November 2000)

The situation to which the Honourable Member refers is well known to the Commission which maintains
many contacts with the professional sector as well as the national authorities. Particular reference should
be made to the working document on the question of tourist guides (1) as well as to the report to the
Council and the Parliament (2) upon the application of Council Directive 92/51/EEC of 18th June 1992 on
a second general system for the recognition of professional education and training to supplement Directive
89/48/EEC (3).

First of all, it should be remembered that Member States are free to determine the rules of access and
exercise of professions within their territory (provided that these rules are not discriminatory). They may,
in particular require the possession of a specific qualification or diploma before being able to take up a
given profession. These rules aim at guaranteeing a certain quality and are motivated for example by the
protection of public health, and the protection of consumers. However, nationals of Member States that
have obtained their qualification in another Member State are subject to Community law.

The profession of tourist guide is subject in Italy to the possession of a qualification at the level indicated
in Directive 92/51. The Directive provides that nationals from one Member State have the right to exercise
in another Member State a profession for which they are fully qualified in their Member State of origin.
The host Member State can require the migrant to undergo an adaptation period or an aptitude test when
there are substantial differences between the migrant’s education and training and the requirements in the
host Member State.

Italy has implemented the Directive through a decree adopted in 1994 (‘Decreto Legislativo 2 maggio
1994, n.319’). This decree provides that recognition can be made subject to the accomplishment of an
adaptation period or an aptitude test, at the choice of the migrant.