WRITTEN QUESTION No. 2469/97 by Leonie van BLADEL to the Commission. Misuse of a PHARE programme subsidy by Slovakia

Official Journal C 076 , 11/03/1998 P. 0114

WRITTEN QUESTION E-2469/97 by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Commission (16 July 1997)

Subject: Misuse of a PHARE programme subsidy by Slovakia

Has the Commission considered how it can prevent PHARE programme subsidies from being misused in the future for the publication of xenophobic views, as has happened in Slovakia with the publication of a history book for primary schools?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission (5 September 1997)

Under the Phare 'Renewal of education programme' for the Slovak Republic, funding was provided for the printing of a history schoolbook. When the Commission approved the funding of the book (ECU 80,000), described as a chronological description of historical events to be used as a supplementary teaching aid, it relied on three written recommendations by historians teaching in Canada, Germany and the Slovak Republic, all of Slovak origin. When the Commission was made aware that the book contained offensive material of an anti-semitic nature, which also appeared to justify the actions of the Tiso regime, it took immediate action and obtained the withdrawal of the book.

The Commission does not intend to fund education programmes such as the 'Renewal of education programme' in the future in Slovakia. Similar programmes in other Central and Eastern European countries expired in 1996.