2. Traineeships can be announced by the potential promoter or partners before the programme hasbeen accepted, provided it is made clear that they are subject to acceptance of the programme by theCommission.3. Under the first phase of Leonardo da Vinci, the programmes mentioned in paragraph 1 generally began on 1 December. They usually run for two years and placements have an average duration of sixmonths.4. The promoter, beneficiary and the sending and host organisations enter into a binding agreement onparticipation in a placement or exchange programme. It is not the Commission’s responsibility to providecompensation.5. The Commission can only offer financial support to participants in a placement or exchangeprogramme.(2000/C330E/198)
WRITTEN QUESTION E-0492/00by Luis Berenguer Fuster (PSE) and Fernando Pérez Royo (PSE) to the Commission
(24 February 2000)Subject:
Statements made by Commissioner Monti in Spain concerning state aid granted by the SpanishGovernmentOne of the undertakings given by the Prodi Commission was that the European Parliament would benotified of agreements and decisions before the press was informed. During Mr Monti’s appearance beforethe Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, we asked for information concerning the issue of theCTCs (costs of transition to competition) of the Spanish electricity companies. As time was short, theCommissioner stated that he would reply to the question in writing. To date, no response has beenreceived.On 4 February Commissioner Monti travelled to Madrid where he met with members of the SpanishGovernment. Afterwards, he held a press conference, during the course of which he gave certaininformation on this issue, before the European Parliament was informed. Some of the information given possibly distorted by the Spanish Government implied a certain degree of agreement between thereport of the independent expert and the position of the Spanish Government. This information is at oddswith the views expressed by officials in the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, accordingto whom the conclusions of the independent report differ from the estimates of the Spanish Government‘on four points’, which would imply a ‘substantial reduction in the figure’. In addition, the Commissionerhimself according to press reports at least intends to investigate the issue, which hardly squares withthe triumphalist interpretation of the Spanish Government.On what points does the independent expert’s report differ from the estimates of the Spanish Government?On what points does the report differ from the estimates of the Spanish Electricity Commission? Will acopy of the report be provided to the European Parliament? On what factors is the Spanish Governmentbasing its assumption that the Commission will find in its favour? Does Commissioner Monti consider thathe has fulfilled the undertaking to inform Parliament before the press?
Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission
(28 March 2000)
The consultant’s mandate was to check that the assumptions taken as a basis by the Spanish authorities tocalculate the ‘costs of transition to competition’ (CTCs) complied with internationally recognised standards;it was not to calculate all admissible CTCs anew. Thus, a comparison cannot be made between theconsultant’s report and the report drawn up by the Comisión Nacional del Sistema Eléctrico. As was statedin the answer to Written Question E-348/00 by Ms Diez Gonzalez(
), the Commission is studying theresults of the assessments and has requested the Spanish authorities to provide additional information. Asregards the questions which were put to the Member of the Commission with responsibility forcompetition at the meeting of the Economic and Monetary Committee held on 11 January 2000 and towhich he could not reply for want of time, the Commission would point out that, as agreed at thatmeeting, it sent a written answer to the chair of the Economic and Monetary Committee on24 February 2000.C330E/174 EN 21.11.2000Official Journal of the European Communities