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2000 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 330 E/193

As the Honourable Member observes, Article 88(3) has the effect of suspending assistance until the above
procedure has resulted in a final decision. The Commission will make known its position as soon as
possible in accordance with the applicable rules of procedure.

(1) OJ C 74, 10.3.1998.

(2000/C 330 E/222) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0620/00

by Mihail Papayannakis (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(3 March 2000)

Subject: Teaching of Greek-language interpreting

The Germersheim campus of the University of Mainz (Germany) has a teaching programme which includes
a very useful training course for interpreters from and into various European languages. Despite the fact
that there are several dozen students studying interpreting from and into Greek, I am informed that the
university plans to discontinue the teaching of interpreting from and into this language. At the same time,
I am told that the university receives funding from the European Union precisely to support the teaching
of interpreting.

In the light of this information, could the Commission say what plans the University of Mainz has with
regard to the teaching of interpreting from and into Greek?

Since there does not seem to be any good reason for its abolition, could the Commission request the
University of Mainz or its supervisory authority to maintain the teaching of this language, which is
particularly useful for the operation of Community bodies and many other European organisations and

Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission

(14 April 2000)

The Commission agrees with the Honorable Member’s comments on the importance of Greek as an official
Community language. In the field of interpreting, the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service is making
the utmost effort to guarantee multilingualism and the equal dignity of all the languages. Nevertheless, the
Commission cannot take the place of national authorities when it comes to the training of interpreters.

In fact, in keeping with the EC Treaty, each Member State is responsible for the content of the education it
provides and for the way in which its education system is organised. The decision to discontinue the
teaching of interpreting in Greek is therefore the responsibility of the university authorities and ultimately
of the Member State concerned.

Finally, it would appear in the present case that the information received by the Honorable Member does
not entirely reflect the situation as it stands. The University of Mainz has in fact confirmed that Greek is
not and never has been one of the languages in the syllabus for the training of interpreters. Moreover, the
Commission does not contribute financially to the interpreter training programme at this university.

(2000/C 330 E/223) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0621/00

by William Newton Dunn (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(3 March 2000)

Subject: Hallmarking

Further to Answer H-0729/99 (1) to my previous question about the hallmarking of silver, will the
Commission use its best endeavours to facilitate an in-depth discussion to take place in the Council’s