15.10.

1999

EN

Official Journal of the European Communities Reply (26 April 1999)

C 297/119

The European Union adopted a common position on Cuba on 2 December 1996. The EU’s major objective remains to encourage and facilitate a process of peaceful transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. In June 1998 the EU and the ACP States agreed to admit Cuba as an observer at the negotiations for the successor Lomé Convention. In this context, the EU reminded Cuba of the stringent human rights standards that will be attached to any membership of the new agreement. In 1998 the Union made several representations to the Cuban authorities, particularly to secure the freeing of dissidents. At the last evaluation of the common position, on 7 December 1998, the Council noted that in the last six months the EU had intensified its dialogue with the Cuban authorities, in particular regarding human rights. The Council repeated that the European Union’s objective as regards Cuba remained the encouragement of a process of peaceful transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Council is aware of the imprisonment of Mr Arévalo Padrón, director of the independent press agency ‘Línea Sur Press’, who was arrested in November 1997. Mr Paez Núñez, president of the ‘José de la Luz y Caballero’ association, was arrested in July 1997. As regards Mr Recio Martínez, a journalist with the independent press agency ‘Cuba Press’, who was imprisoned in September 1997, the Council’s information is that he has recently been freed. The Council will keep the European Parliament informed of developments and will continue to press the Cuban authorities for full observance of human rights and freedom of information. In conclusion, the Council would point out to the Honourable Member that it is following with concern the acts of persecution carried out over the last few months in Cuba in respect of journalists in the independent press. The cases of the three journalists previously mentioned are well known but we should not forget the case of Mr Joel Díaz, who has been detained for having exercised his right to freedom of information.

(1999/C 297/161)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3968/98 by Glenys Kinnock (PSE) to the Commission (4 January 1999)

Subject: ‘Improved stove’ programmes What investigations has the Commission made into the appropriateness of reliance upon ‘improved stove’ programmes and other fuel-wood demand or supply-side strategies to reduce fuel-wood in areas accommodating refugees?

(1999/C 297/162)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3969/98 by Glenys Kinnock (PSE) to the Commission (4 January 1999)

Subject: ‘Improved stove’ programmes What is the Commission’s policy on the provision to refugee camps of fuels for the purpose of cooking and heating? Does it advocate the provision of the ‘improved stove’, and has it taken on board recent evaluations which call into question the efficiency of the ‘improved stove’ compared with the traditional three-stone fire?

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