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C 297/62 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 15.10.


Answer given by Mrs Wulf-Mathies on behalf of the Commission

(3 December 1998)

Andalusia benefits from two programmes under the Community Initiative Interreg, one concerning the cross-
border areas between Spain and Portugal, and the other those between Spain and Morocco.

The financial resources are allocated to the programmes as a whole and are not distributed on a regional basis.
Moreover, apart from projects of a certain scale which have already been specified, the projects to be financed
under the programmes are selected by the authorities responsible for implementing them. The Commission is
not therefore in a position to give detailed answers to the questions raised.

With regard to Interreg Spain-Portugal, only Huelva province is concerned by this programme in Andalusia.
The purpose of the programme is to develop the cross-border area and to encourage mixed Hispano-
Portuguese initiatives by supporting local development and small infrastructure measures. This programme
covers the part-financing of the Lepe-Ayamonte motorway project in Huelva province, at a cost of over
ECU 4 million, for instance.

The provinces of Cadiz, Malaga, Ceuta and Melilla are eligible under the Interreg Spain-Morocco programme in
Andalusia. The programme provides for the development of cross-border cooperation and acceleration of the
pace of adaptation and integration of the regional economy in the internal market. The biggest project involves
underwater electricity connection at a total eligible cost of ECU 70,22 million, with a contribution of
ECU 13,26 million from the European Regional Development Fund. This project has already been completed.

(1999/C 297/082) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3242/98

by Georg Jarzembowski (PPE) to the Commission

(19 October 1998)

Subject: Council inactivity in the legislative process

In contrast to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union is not bound by set deadlines in the
performance of its tasks pursuant to the Treaty Establishing the European Community (ECT). In the legislative
process, as with other decisions, the time when a decision is taken is always at the discretion of the Council. In
the past this has meant that in controversial and politically sensitive matters the Council has often been
inactive, even when the Commission has submitted a proposal and Parliament has exercised its rights of
codecision in accordance with the Treaty. In these cases of Council inactivity Community law merely allows
the Commission to amend or withdraw its proposal (cf. Article 189a ECT).

In this context I should like to ask the Commission:

1. In how many instances in the last ten years has the Council adopted neither a favourable nor an
unfavourable decision in respect of a Commission proposal and after the involvement of Parliament?

2. How many dossiers are older than the period of office of the current Commission, and how many are
more than nine months old?

3. To which policy areas of the EC do the dossiers referred to in question 1 belong?

4. Does the Commission intend to submit to the next Intergovernmental Conference a proposal for inclusion
in the EC Treaty of a clause establishing a timetable for Council decisions on Commission proposals or
any other decision?

5. If not, what are the Commission’s views on including in the EC treaty a deadline of, say, six or nine months
for Council decisions?
15.10.1999 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 297/63

Answer given by Mr Santer on behalf of the Commission

(20 November 1998)

The Commission is sending direct to the Honourable Member and Parliament’s Secretariat-General lists in
which he will find detailed answers to the questions raised.

1. There are 280 proposals since 1 January 1988 transmitted to the Council, on which it has consulted
Parliament but not taken a decision.

2. 68 of these proposals were transmitted to it before 31 December 1994; 205 of these proposals were
transmitted to it before 31 December 1997 (i.e. over nine months ago).

3. With regard to policy areas, the Honourable Member is referred to the list mentioned above, where
proposals are classified by sector.

4. No.

5. The Commission has always endeavoured to act in such a way that the legislator can take a decision on
its proposals as soon as possible.

(1999/C 297/083) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3262/98

by Antonios Trakatellis (PPE) to the Commission

(22 October 1998)

Subject: Reforms in connection with implementation in Greece of projects under the Second CSF and
Cohesion Fund and list of projects with identified shortcomings and defective work

A careful reading of Commissioner Wulf-Mathies’ answer of 12 October 2120/98 (1) leaves no doubt that it is
not only the contractors but also the supervisory bodies who are responsible for the serious failings in the
implementation of the projects. Moreover, a number of other important questions have been raised
concerning the supervision of the projects and the changes introduced after the proposals by the joint
steering committee made up of Greek and Community experts. Recently, not only were serious shortcomings
identified but also variances of as much as 90 %. If these irregularities are taken together with a number of
recent road accidents attributed to poor road surfacing, the responsibility is enormous and rests not only with
the Greeks but also the Community as joint funder of the projects.

1. What reforms has the joint committee proposed, apart from setting up the ESPEL quality control
mechanism, and which of these have been adopted and implemented in Greek law?

2. Why was there such a delay in ordering thorough checks to be carried out i.e. until 1 July 1998, when
serious shortcomings had already been identified in completed projects and projects in progress?

3. How are checks carried out on projects, i.e. are spot checks carried out once the work is completed but
not during construction by the supervisor of the project and the national body responsible for implementation
of the project?

4. In which projects were shortcomings identified? Which national bodies were responsible for imple-
mentation of those projects and what is their responsibility? Can the Commission provide a detailed
breakdown of this information.

(1) OJ C 135, 14.5.1999, p. 16.