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Parliamentary questions
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27 September 2007
by Umberto Pirilli (UEN)
to the Commission

 Subject: Entrance examinations for admission to medical and dentistry schools in Italy
 Answer in writing 

In Italy there are a fixed number of places at medical and dentistry schools and the selection procedure is administered directly by the Ministry for Research and Universities.

The recent entrance examinations were tainted by scandal (http://studenti.it/medicina/articoli/segnalazioni_quizmedicina.php).

Instead of investigating the part played in the affair by members of his staff, the Minister responsible — Mr Mussi — has accused three southern universities (Bari, Catanzaro and Messina) of fraud, without mentioning others such as Milan, Bologna, Genoa, Parma, Rome and Chieti.

He has also asked the Messina Public Prosecutor to check ‘the congruity of the results’, taking as a legal basis for such a bizarre request the circumstance that the best results (and thus the best brains) were allegedly concentrated at Messina.

Pursuant to the Lisbon Strategy, each Member State is required — amongst other things — to invest at least 2 % of GDP in research by 2010, whereas Italy invests only 1 %.

Will the Commission answer the following questions?

1. Has the Minister in question — Mr Mussi — infringed basic principles of Community law by creating conditions which encourage violation of the right to confidentiality, the right of equal access to the media and the right to secrecy, and also discrimination against the South to the advantage of the North and against the best brains to the advantage of unexceptional ones?

2. Does the Commission not think that behind Mr Mussi's decision to take legal action against the students concerned there lies his wish to protect his own staff by absolving them of their responsibilities?

3. Does the Commission not think that it should call upon the Prodi Government to meet the Lisbon 2000 requirements by ensuring that, in the next financial year, resources equivalent to 2 % of GDP are earmarked for research (which would help Italy to make a fresh start)?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 191, 29/07/2008
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